Blazers, Hawks Swap Evan Turner, Kent Bazemore

6:07pm: The trade is official, according to a league press release.

2:55pm: The Trail Blazers and Hawks have agreed to a trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the teams are swapping veterans Evan Turner and Kent Bazemore.

Turner and Bazemore signed nearly identical four-year, $70MM contracts during the summer of 2016, so both players will be on expiring deals during the 2019/20 season. Since Bazemore’s contract was a little more backloaded, he’ll be slightly more expensive next season, earning a salary of $19.27MM compared to Turner’s $18.61MM.

For Portland, Bazemore will be a three-and-D piece who could help space the floor around the team’s play-making guards. The veteran swingman struggled in 2018/19, battling some health issues and finishing with just 11.6 PPG on .402/.320/.726 shooting in 67 games (24.5 MPG). However, he has been a more reliable rotation player in the past, having made 36.5% of his three-pointers in his first four years in Atlanta, including 39.4% in 2017/18.

Bazemore should be a good fit on a Trail Blazers roster that could use another three-point marksman on the wing. In the postseason, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Meyers Leonard were fairly reliable from outside, but the only wings making threes for Portland were Seth Curry and Rodney Hood — both players are free agents this summer.

Turner, on the other hand, has never been much of an outside threat, but can be a secondary play-maker, having taken on a good deal of ball-handling responsibilities on the Trail Blazers’ second unit last season. He averaged 6.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 3.9 APG on .460/.212/.708 shooting in 73 games (22.0 MPG).

The Blazers believe that 2018 first-rounder Anfernee Simons can take on a bigger play-making role off the bench next season, tweets David Aldridge of The Athletic.

With sharpshooter Allen Crabbe arriving in a trade with Brooklyn, Atlanta views Turner’s skill set as more of a fit than Bazemore’s on this year’s roster. The Hawks envision Turner in the backup point guard role and want to open up some minutes for young players like De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Kevin Huerter as well, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.

The Blazers and Hawks won’t have to wait until the new league year begins to consummate this deal, since Turner’s and Bazemore’s cap charges are so similar.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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32 thoughts on “Blazers, Hawks Swap Evan Turner, Kent Bazemore

  1. stretch123

    Nice move for the Blazers. Gives them a better 3 point shooter around CJ and Damian off the bench.

    • hiflew

      They are weakest on the wing and Bazemore has been in need of a change of scenery. This just a shake up deal that needed to happen for both teams.

    • stretch123

      More growth and scoring opportunities for their young core. Turner a good defensive player off the bench does not require as many touches as Bazemore (even tho he doesn’t require as much to begin with, but still helps gives youth more opportunities).

    • Evan Turner can handle the ball and run the point. Bazemore can’t and plays on the wing. Hawks just added wing guys in addition to the guys he already had. Hawks needed to open up playing time and you can’t sit a 19 million-dollar player. Perfect trade.

  2. Connorsoxfan

    Atlanta trying to amass Portland’s worst mistakes with Crabbe and Turner??

    • hiflew

      This just in: Atlanta signs LaRue Martin, Sam Bowie, and Greg Oden to Exhibit 10 deals.

    • Luke Adams

      Indeed he was. For some reason I always remember him as being drafted in the Gary Trent slot. Fixed now though, thanks.

  3. formerlyz

    Rare trade that works for both sides. Portland has some other playmakers now to set up Lillard and CJ, and those guys are more of an outside threat themselves. Bazemore also provides much needed defensive help on the wing, as well as above the rim athleticism Portland didnt really have from their wings

    Turner fits Atlanta for the same reason he fit Portland a couple of years ago. He can play that Iguodala role for them

  4. x%sure

    Well, @yoyo, now we will see what Simons can do.

    Little may be a PF to start… That would spare Harkless a slow start at a new position.

    Assuming they get their guys signed somehow by sacrificing one for stretching or renting another team’s capspace.

  5. nikumistry

    ON the topic of trades, are you guys planning on putting together an offseason trades compilation post similar to what you have done in previous years?

    • Luke Adams

      Yes, that should go up within the next couple days. It’s a bit of a mess at the moment because so many are still unofficial, but I’ll make it work.

  6. UGA_Steve

    Bazemore is better than most in Atlanta will give him credit for, but his contract just made people want more.

    This is a good trade for both teams as Atlanta has filled Bazemore’s spot (3&D) multiple times over this off-season, and given Bazemore’s defensive metrics have tumbled in recent years, it just makes since.

  7. Jason kapono

    I just figured Atlanta would get an asset for Bazemore at last year’s deadline. Selling kind of low.

    • whoneedsfacts

      He had a rough year and makes $19mil you can’t really expect that.

  8. yoyo137

    It’s really sad to see Evan go, I never understood why so many so called Blazers fans hated him. Obviously he made a lot of money but you can’t blame the guy for taking the best offer on the table. He is a great teammate and a huge part of the Blazers having been a tight knit team (which I believe is a big reason for how they overachieved constantly). He was never a great shooter but people overlooked what he brought to the team as a playmaker, his mid range game, and steady defense. He’s the reason we won against the Nuggets, due to his amazing game 7 but also to his work defensively on Paul Millsap. He’s going to be an amazing vet to the young guys in Atlanta and should have an opportunity to play to his strengths there. The real blazers fans love you Evan, and we wish you the best of luck in Atlanta. Thank you for the great years.
    It is a great trade for Portland though. Bazemore will be the perfect fit in Portland. With all the cutting actions and pin downs, with teams having to respect Dame and CJ, he’s going to have an opportunity to show his shooting and finishing capabilities, both of which he’s very skilled in. He’s shown he can excel on a team with other great shooters and passers. The ball won’t stop with him as much as it did with Hood and Turner, he’s a much quicker decision maker, and plays above the rim more than both of them. He had a down year but I think Baze can definitely still play. Especially going to a standup organization like the Blazers, the Hawks definitely were making sure they traded him to a good situation. The Blazers getting him by simply swapping out his and Evan’s contracts is a win, as it gives us Rodney Hood’s replacement and allows us to use the money it would’ve taken to re-sign him for other areas of need. Bittersweet trade but the fit is too perfect, amazing move by the Blazers.

    • x%sure

      As for Bazemore’s stats, he could have been in a f’k-it mode after being passed over by Huerter, who was only really better at 3pt shooting but got more minutes. Of course it’s promising when a rookie can draw even with the returning starter, good for Huerter. But Bazemore is a guy that began with GSW, signed big then got benched on a loser.

      Blazers need him as much as he needs them esp if Hood, Curry & Layman depart. I see he did play a lot of 3 in the past and that could come open for starting. It’s a small team though starting Harkless-Bazemore-Lillard-Mccollum.

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