The Warriors have acquired Steve Blake from the Lakers in exchange for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks, the team announced on Wednesday evening via press release. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports confirmed the completed deal (via Twitter), while Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times was the first to report the discussions (via Twitter). Ken Berger of CBS Sports was first to confirm the inclusion of Bazemore and Brooks (via Twitter).
Blake had been enjoying a nice run in his fourth year in Los Angeles, averaging 9.5 points and 7.6 assists in 33 minutes per contest despite missing most of December with an elbow injury. As USA Today’s Sam Amick tweets, the deal has been in the works since last week, as Blake was the Warriors target once acquiring Andre Miller became unrealistic. Grantland’s Zach Lowe likes the move for Golden State, tweeting that they get a solid player for next to nothing and open up a roster spot in the process. Spelling Stephen Curry, who averages 37.7 minutes per night this season, the 33-year-old Maryland product figures to fill a role that has been vacant since Jarrett Jack left for Cleveland.
Blake was informed of the deal at the Staples Center just prior to the team’s game against the Rockets tonight and walked out in street clothes according to multiple reports. While his availability via trade was never in doubt, rumors surrounding Blake seemed less prevalant than those involving Laker teammates Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman. Bresnahan caught up with the point guard beforehand. “Real mixed emotions,” Blake said. “The hardest thing really is my family. Now I’m going to have to spend four months probably away from them.” (Twitter link)
As Berger points out, the move helps the Lakers creep closer to the luxury tax threshold. He calculates it would shave nearly $3.5MM off the bill for the Lakers in the unlikely scenario that they are done dealing (Twitter link). Meanwhile, to obtain Blake, the Warriors utilized the $4MM exception they acquired by dealing Brandon Rush to Utah this summer, tweets Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle. Blake will be a free agent this summer.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.