Report: Hawks sign Kent Bazemore to deal worth $70 million
Not many expected this kind of deal for Kent Bazemore two years ago. The Hawks didn’t take long to convince the shooting guard to return to Atlanta, as they agreed a four-year, $70 million deal to retain his services on the second day of the free agency period, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
The skilled shooter with defensive grit went undrafted in 2012 and spent a lot of his rookie year in Santa Cruz, playing for the Golden State Warriors‘ D-League team. Soon after he broke into the Warriors rotation in 2014, he was traded in to the Los Angeles Lakers for point guard Steve Blake. Whilst at the time many thought that they had worked out what Bazemore’s ceiling would be, the North Carolina native took the opportunity to prove himself in the city of angels.
Bazemore left for Atlanta in the same year, where he signed a two year, $4 million deal with the Hawks. Since then he has worked on his game and improved immensely. He became a much better slasher and showed how capable he is of guarding multiple positions. His development meant that he was widely considered an absolute bargain for the Hawks.
When it mattered the most, Bazemore came through last year. He averaged 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, boasting career highs. In the 2016 NBA Playoffs, he broke out and became integral to Atlanta’s chances, helping the Hawks make the Eastern Conference Semifinals after a 48-win season.
With Al Horford’s future now likely away from the Hawks and their recent signing of Dwight Howard, it is still unclear what kind of team that the Atlanta fan-base will be cheering for next year. But certainly, many in the area will be thrilled to have locked up this 3-and-D guard for the long term.
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