Los Angeles Notes: Bazemore, Jackson, Gasol

Kent Bazemore played sparingly during his stint on the Warriors, averaging 4.4 MPG as a rookie in 2012/13 and 6.1 MPG in 44 games this season. After being dealt to the Lakers a few weeks ago, the 24-year-old guard is now seeing 29.8 MPG and has made quite an impression thus far. With 14.6 PPG on 45.9% shooting overall and 40.4% from long distance over his last 10 games, Bazemore may not only resemble a potential piece for L.A.’s future, but a possible free agency target for other teams as well.

With that being said, Bazemore wants to remain with the Lakers long-term, and his camp is confident that if he continues to play as he has so far for the team, L.A. will tender a qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent this summer, writes Jeff Caplan of NBA.com.

Here’s more out of Los Angeles this evening:

  • Phil Jackson has been recently linked to a few front office opportunities around the league, and despite his lack of experience as an executive, the Lakers – with a dire need for stability and direction – can ill afford to let him get away again, opines Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.
  • Though Pau Gasol‘s frustration for most of this season implies an infinitesimal chance that he re-ups with the purple and gold beyond this year, it could still be mutually beneficial for Gasol and the team if he were to return, explains Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. One idea involves re-signing the Spanish big man to a gargantuan one-year deal for next season, which would allow L.A. to eventually clear Gasol and Steve Nash‘s contracts at the same time and thus have ample cap space for 2015.
  • In the above piece, Bucher also shares a list of players who Kobe Bryant said he envisions returning after this season, including Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar, and Wesley Johnson.
  • During a recent interview with Kustoo.com, Bryant admitted that he has been frustrated with the slow recovery process from his knee injury (hat tip to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times): “It’s progressing slowly. It really tests my patience…There’s only so much you can do, so I find myself relegated to riding the bike.”
  • Former Clippers swingman Sasha Vujacic has signed on with basketball agency Interperformances, according to Sportando (Twitter link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post. 

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