Before the trade deadline, Kent Bazemore was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in an effort to save money. He was known as a bench player with extreme celebrations comparable to Robert Sacre. He averaged a little over six minutes a game, with poor shooting percentages and nonexistent offensive statistics.
But with so many injuries on the Lakers, he was given ample playing time and proved to be a very effective player.
When Bazemore was inserted into the lineup, he played with a confidence that elevated his game to another level. He started receiving consistent time on the court, and with little structure to the offense, he was able to play a free-flowing style. With the freedom on offense, he raised his shooting percentages and averaged over 13 points a game.
Bazemore has much to offer the Lakers for next season. He is a hard worker who displayed a good outside shot and an aggressive mindset. He is very effective at getting to the basket and finishing with his left hand. He can play a variety of positions from handling the ball to spacing the court. There were times when he was a little too selfish with the ball, but with more veteran teammates, that can easily change.
The defensive side is where the Lakers could really use him next year. He is extremely active and is capable of guarding a number of positions. His length allows him to create turnovers and pressure opposing players. His work ethic and athleticism should allow him to become a very good perimeter defender, something that the Lakers greatly need.
Bazemore also brings a sense of excitement to the team. He may not get as much playing time next season, but he is still a valuable asset to the team. He is lively and cheers for his teammates whenever he can. On the court, he plays with passion and will go after every loose ball. This effort cannot be underestimated, and is something the Lakers have recently lacked.
The Lakers need as much youth and athleticism as possible on their team next season. Bazemore should be a relatively cheap option and can fill a variety of roles. He is good on both sides of the ball, and is willing to do the dirty work to help his team win. It is important that the Lakers do what they can to bring him back for another season.