Golden State Warriors guard Kent Bazemore is having a great offseason. He has led the Warriors to a 5-0 record thus far in the 2013 NBA Summer League tournament with an average of 18. points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Bazemore has impressed with his clutch playmaking and stifling defense, but the most unexpected aspect of his play has been his confidence.
The Warriors were down late in the game when Bazemore went left and slammed one down over Jackie Carmichael of the Dallas Mavericks. That sparked a 14-2 run that lead to a Warriors win.
Bazemore averaged 2.0 points and 0.4 rebounds in less than five minutes per game last season. The three other rookies on the roster, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli, got ample playing time but Bazemore was often relegated to the end of the bench.
Next season, Bazemore can seize an opportunity for more playing time. With the departure of Jarrett Jack, the Warriors have signed Tonyy Douglas and drafted Nemanja Nedovic to provide depth behind Stephen Curry. Bazemore needs to continue to impress for the remainder of the Summer League in order to climb the Warriors depth chart for 2013-14.
Bazemore and his freakish wingspan give the Warriors a point guard that will not be overmatched on the defensive end of the court. Douglas does many of the same things but Bazemore, if his Summer League performance is any indication, is showing flashes of an above-average offensive aresnal.
If Bazemore can continue to prove that he is improving and gaining confidence, head coach Mark Jackson will find a way to use him. Bazemore has the height, length and quickness to play both guard position, andtThe Warriors are a team with many versatile players who excel at multiple positions–Bazemore fits that mold.
Bazemore may not have a breakout year, but he will have the chance to prove himself outside of the garbage minutes he got this past season. Many Warriors will be expected to fill different roles during different points of a game. Whether it be defense or ball-handling, as long as Bazemore can fulfill that particular role to help the Warriors win, he will have a spot in the rotation and meaningful contributions.