The Los Angeles Lakers have the lowest win total in the Western Conference.
Now with Kobe Bryant out, the Lake Show are led by Pau Gasol, Kendal Marhsall, and former Golden State Warriors’ guard Kent Bazemore.
Since leaving the Bay Area, Bazemore has emerged as far more of a basketball player and far less of an entertaining benchwarmer. Since the trade, Bazemore is averaging 14.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in just under 30 minutes of action per game.
He has emerged as the Lakers starting small forward and looks poised to carve out some kind of NBA career. But will the Warriors regret trading Kent Bazemore?
Bazemore struggled to get off the bench for the Warriors and when the Warriors were presented an opportunity to trade away Bazemore in exchange for a true backup point guard in Steve Blake, they jumped on it.
And for good reason. Since adding a true point guard in Blake, the Warriors have cut down on their turnovers, and their bench play has improved drastically scoring more points per game, assisting on more baskets, and shooting a better percentage.
While Bazemore has looked good on the Lakers as well, the Warriors absolutely made the right decision in letting him go. Bazemore was a good on-ball defender thanks to his length and size, but his inconsistent off-ball play and struggles to run an offense as a true backup point guard kept him at the end of the bench.
Bazemore was the NBA Summer League MVP this past July where he showed flashes of his potential, but after being given opportunities early in the year to run the Warriors second unit he struggled. On the Lakers, Bazemore has been the beneficiary of playing for a bad team.
The worst offensive teams in the NBA score at least 90 points per game. This season, the Chicago Bulls score a league worst 93.4 points per game. Even on a putrid offensive tea like the Bulls, somebody has to get their 15-to-18 points per game. And right now, on the 22-win Lakers team, Bazemore is that guy.
On the Warriors, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee were options one, two, and three. When the second unit was on the floor, Harrison Barnes was the top scoring option. But now on the Lakers, Bazemore is option number one and has the green light in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun system.
While, Bazemore looks like a true NBA role player right now, he proved on the Warriors that when given the opportunity to play point guard, he couldn’t do it as consistently as many wanted, and since adding a true backup guard, the Warriors look like a much ore consistent and dynamic team.