Just when you thought nothing good would come out of the 2013-14 campaign for the Los Angeles Lakers, a pleasant development has finally emerged for the purple and gold. Mitch Kupchak might have found an important piece in the future in Kent Bazemore, who is showing more than being just a spark off the bench as was advertised while playing for the Golden State Warriors.
Bazemore was acquired along with MarShon Brooks in exchange for Laker fan favorite Steve Blake, but it already looks like L.A. might have pulled off highway robbery. The most striking part of the Bazemore’s game is his confidence. Here is a guy that hadn’t played significant minutes anywhere in the NBA up until now, yet he clearly isn’t afraid of the moment. Bazemore has an advanced skill set for a player his age (24) and experience, showing the ability to attack off pick and rolls.
Defensively, his skills are what sets him apart as he stays in front of his man, and has a knack for getting to loose balls.
To top things off, the second-year man out of Old Dominion displays top-level speed, which has been a catalyst for the Lakers’ recent fast-break binge. It makes you wonder why Golden State decided to keep Jordan Crawford over this guy, as Crawford is merely a streak shooter with no semblance of team play or defense.
The Lakers can make Bazemore a qualifying offer this summer as he is a restricted free agent. Kupchak will have some very interesting decisions to make this offseason on who he would like to invite back. Bazemore offers the most upside of any of the incumbent wing players due to his two-way ability, which should keep him around.