The original headline for this article was “4 Bold Predictions for Kent Bazemore’s 2013-14 Season”, but that implies some semblance of courage or, at the very least, overpowering fast food flavors. So we probably shouldn’t pair “bold” and “predictions about a second year undrafted shooting guard” in the same sentence.
With that tepid disclaimer out of the way, Kent Bazemore will play an important role on the Golden State Warriors next year. Will he start? No. Will he play meaningful minutes? Sometimes. Will his goofy sideline celebrations elevate his personal brand and endear him to the blogosphere? No question.
But will he take the necessary steps to improve beyond his current niche as a glorified mascot and occasional defensive stopper? That depends on whether he can establish a place for himself in Golden State’s very deep backcourt rotation. If anything, Bazemore’s performance in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League showcased an ability to play at a high level with the added responsibility of running an offense. And while Summer League success doesn’t always translate into longevity in the NBA, Bazemore’s improvements haven’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s going to get a serious look,” Mark Jackson told David Aldridge of NBA TV Monday night. “At the end of the day, we’re loaded. We’ve got five perimeter players today who are better players than he is.”
“He’s going to stay ready … he’s a guy I have a lot of confidence in.”