Kent Bazemore

Warriors Notes: Curry, Bazemore, Oubre, Mulder

The Warriors‘ hopes to get back into title contention start with Stephen Curry, and coach Steve Kerr was thrilled to see the former MVP back on the court Saturday night, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Curry is fully recovered from the broken left hand that limited him to five games last season. He shot just 3-of-10 from the field, but having him back in the lineup was a big deal for Kerr.

“It’s always just great to see him out on the floor,” Kerr said. “And I think he looks really good physically, that’s the main thing. He worked so hard in the offseason and he’s in great shape. And now it’s just a matter of getting his timing and his rhythm down, but he’s definitely a sight for sore eyes.”

Curry is surrounded by a much different roster than during the five-year stretch when Golden State was on top of the league. Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre are major additions over the past year, and the team will eventually incorporate rookie center James Wiseman, who isn’t expected to play during the preseason.

“There’s nobody like him in the NBA,” Kerr said of Curry. “Nobody who can play on and off the ball at that level and who creates that kind of havoc. And so I think with most players who come in, they’re not used to the second half of the possession. They’re sort of used to whatever the pattern is in the beginning. But as soon as maybe Steph gives up the ball, that’s when the action really starts the way we play. And that’s the tricky part for guys to figure out.”

There’s more Warriors news this morning:

  • Golden State projects to have a much better bench than it did a year ago, when the team’s reserve unit was among the NBA’s worst, observes Anthony Slater of the Athletic. The addition of Kent Bazemore and Brad Wanamaker have made the Warriors a deeper team, and Eric Paschall will join them once Draymond Green returns to the starting lineup. Bazemore provides a veteran presence and the versatility to contribute in multiple ways. “Baze is kind of a wild card,” Kerr said. “He can make three or four plays in a row — a bucket, a steal, knock down a 3. He’s a streaky player.”
  • The trade for Oubre gives the Warriors a top defender who can take over Klay Thompson‘s responsibilities on the perimeter, Slater notes in the same piece. Kerr said he believes Golden State can become an excellent defensive team once Green and Wiseman return.
  • Mychal Mulder is in camp on a non-guaranteed contract, but his long-distance shooting may help him win a roster spot, Slater adds. He hit three important three-pointers in the fourth quarter Saturday to help the Warriors claim a close victory.

Atlantic Notes: Harden, Oladipo, Grant, VanVleet

The Nets have shifted their focus away from a potential James Harden blockbuster and are simply looking to make marginal upgrades to the roster, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Brooklyn might pursue the Hornets’ Nicolas Batum once he clears waivers to give itself another defensive wing. The Nets tried and failed to secure Serge Ibaka‘s services with the $5.7MM taxpayer mid-level exception and also struck out on wing Kent Bazemore, Lewis adds.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks president Leon Rose isn’t eager to pursue a trade for Pacers guard Victor Oladipo even though GM Scott Perry wants to explore that possibility, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. The front office did make a strong push for free agent forward Jerami Grant, who wound up with the Pistons in a sign-and-trade with Denver. Rose could still make another trade for a rotation player or take on another team’s unwanted contract with an asset attached in order to reach the salary cap floor, Berman adds.
  • Re-signing Fred VanVleet to a four-year, $85MM contract could be considered overpaying but the Raptors have a reputation for rewarding players for a job well done, Eric Koreen of The Athletic opines. While the Raptors may have essentially been bidding against themselves at that price, their reputation of taking care of their own helps in acquiring other players. The contract is also structured so that they can pursue a top-flight free agent next summer.
  • That contract could ultimately prove to be a good value if VanVleet improves in a few areas, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic. He needs to get better with his pull-up shooting and finishing at the rim when he takes over lead guard responsibilities, which will happen when Kyle Lowry leaves or shifts to more of an off-guard role. He also needs to get better in pick-and-rolls, Murphy adds.

Free Agency Rumors: Ibaka, Iwundu, Hernangomez, Bazemore

Big man Serge Ibaka was not bereft of contending suitors in free agency, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto notes that the Raptors, the team with whom Ibaka spent most of the last four seasons, apparently offered a one-year, $12MM deal to Ibaka for an encore appearance in 2020/21. Toronto was believed to be unwilling to offer multiple years, which would have cut into the team’s projected 2021 cap space.

The Nets also wanted Ibaka, but could only afford a taxpayer mid-level exception, which would have started at $5.7MM this season. Ibaka ultimately inked a two-year, $19MM contract with the Clippers.

Here are more free agency rumors:

  • Though swingman Wesley Iwundu ultimately opted to sign a two-year, veteran’s minimum contract with the Mavericks, the Hawks, Pelicans and Kings were also in the running for Iwundu’s services this offseason, Scotto reports in the same piece.
  • The Mavericks and Kings also considered adding reserve center Willy Hernangomez before he agreed to terms with the Pelicans on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal, per Scotto. Hernangomez’s 2019/20 club, the Hornets, also apparently wanted to re-sign the 26-year-old big man.
  • Scotto reports that former Kings wing Kent Bazemore also found himself in high demand this offseason before agreeing to a one-year veteran’s minimum deal with the Warriors. The LakersClippersBucksCeltics, Suns, Knicks, Nets, and Hornets were all interested in adding the three-and-D vet this offseason.

Free Agency Rumors: Markieff Morris, Craig, Bazemore, Sixers

A Morris brothers reunion might be in play for the Clippers, Jason Dumas of KRON4 News tweets. Dumas notes that there may be mutual interest in adding free agent forward Markieff Morris – most recently of the Lakers – to a Clippers frontcourt that includes newly re-signed forward Marcus Morris, Markieff’s twin brother. Marcus has agreed to a four-year, $64MM deal to remain with the Clippers.

Markieff’s minutes may be relatively minimal, as he would presumably be the fourth big man in the Clippers’ frontcourt rotation, behind starting power forward Marcus, starting center Ivica Zubac, and just-added veteran power forward/center Serge Ibaka, who will be signed using the club’s full MLE after the departure of Montrezl Harrell to the Lakers. Big man Patrick Patterson was also retained by the Clippers this offseason.

Marcus was a key role-playing piece in the Lakers’ championship run after joining the team off waivers this spring. In 18.4 MPG, Markieff averaged 5.9 PPG and 3.0 RPG, while shooting a stellar 42% on 3.3 three-point attempts per game and 77.8% from the charity stripe across 21 games en route to the Lakers’ 17th NBA title.

Meanwhile, if Marc Gasol ultimately leaves the Raptors for the Lakers, Toronto has strong interest in replacing him with Markieff Morris, and may be able to offer him more than the Clippers can afford.

Here are more free agency rumors:

  • Darren Wolfson of KSTP 5 Eyewitness News tweets that the Timberwolves also considered adding free agent guard Torrey Craig to their offseason roster. Craig ultimately agreed to a contract with the Bucks this offseason, the terms of which have yet to be released.
  • Though Kent Bazemore wound up returning to the Warriors and his close friend Stephen Curry on a veteran’s minimum contract, the Clippers apparently considered using their $3.6MM bi-annual exception to sign the veteran swingman, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • Though Sixers GM Daryl Morey has already made significant changes to Philadelphia, the club still needs a great perimeter scorer, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer observes. “Obviously, our job is to always look for opportunities,” Morey commented this weekend. “But we feel very good about where we are right now.” Pompey notes that in Ben Simmons, the Sixers have the kind of All-Star blue chip piece that could fit well into a deal for Rockets superstar perimeter scorer James Harden.

Warriors Sign Kent Bazemore To One-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 24: The Warriors have signed Bazemore to his one-year contract, according to the NBA’s official transactions log.


NOVEMBER 22: The Warriors and free agent forward Kent Bazemore have agreed to a one-year deal, agent Austin Walton tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Bazemore’s new contract will be worth the veteran’s minimum, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), so it won’t cut into Golden State’s mid-level exception or potential disabled player exception. Bazemore will earn $2.32MM, while Golden State will take a $1.62MM cap hit.

It’s a reunion for the two sides, as Bazemore started his career in Golden State as an undrafted free agent back in 2012. This time around, the 31-year-old should get an opportunity to play regular minutes on the wing, especially with Klay Thompson expected to miss the entire season with an Achilles tear.

Bazemore, who began last season with the Trail Blazers, had a slow start to the year, but played well after being traded to the Kings in January. In 25 games down the stretch for Sacramento, the three-and-D swingman averaged 10.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.2 SPG with a shooting line of .418/.384/.733.

Free Agency Rumors: Lakers, Hornets, Pelicans, Baynes, Bazemore

The Lakers anticipate being “first in line” to talk to two of their veteran free agents, Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley, when free agency opens, league sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Howard and Bradley are expected to draw interest from multiple other clubs, including perhaps the Warriors, but it sounds like L.A. has interest in bringing back both of them. The Lakers and veteran forward Jared Dudley also have mutual interest in a new deal, Scotto adds.

Here’s more from Scotto on free agency:

  • The Hornets are expected to be in the market for a free agent center, according to Scotto, who notes that the team will likely lose Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez in free agency.
  • Scotto echoes a rumor we heard earlier in the week, writing that the Pelicans are expected to show interest in free agent center Aron Baynes.
  • The Kings and Kent Bazemore are expected to have mutual interest in reaching a new deal, according to Scotto, who notes that the free agent swingman will likely speak with a number of teams once free agency begins.

Western Notes: Powell, Bazemore, Holiday, Brown, Timberwolves

Mavericks big man Dwight Powell, who is signed through the 2022/23 season, is showing good progress as he rehabs from a torn right Achilles, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News reports. Powell, who underwent surgery in January, has no movement limitations. However, the closure of the Mavericks practice facility has created an obstacle to get on-court time. It typically takes an NBA player a year or more to return to action from an Achilles tear but the delayed start of next season should work in his favor.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors could consider adding one of their former players,  the Kings’ Kent Bazemore or the Pacers’ Justin Holiday, in free agency, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole breaks down the pros and cons of both players and concludes Holiday would be a better fit, since he has proven more durable in recent years. However, it’s also likely he’d cost more than Bazemore, Poole adds.
  • It’s unclear if former Sixers coach Brett Brown is a candidate for the Thunder’s opening but there is a strong connection to the front office, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman notes. Brown worked with GM Sam Presti in the Spurs organization from 2002-07.
  • The Timberwolves mini-camp facilitated Jarrett Culver‘s development and Josh Okogie‘s playmaking skills, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. It also reinforced the value of forward Jake Layman, though he suffered a broken nose during the workouts.

Pacific Notes: Harrell, Bazemore, Thompson, Booker

Clippers coach Doc Rivers is hopeful big man Montrezl Harrell can play in the team’s final seeding game on Friday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic tweets. Rivers would like to play one game with his usual rotation prior to the playoffs, Buha adds. One of the league’s top reserves, Harrell left the Orlando campus due to the passing of his grandmother. He’ll have to rebuild rhythm with teammates and regain his conditioning, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times notes.

We have more on the Pacific Division:

  • Kings swingman Kent Bazemore appears unlikely to play against the Lakers on Thursday, Sean Cunningham of KXTV tweets. Bazemore, who hasn’t played since last Thursday, is dealing with a calf injury. He will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
  • Warriors guard Klay Thompson has been working out mainly in Orange County, Calif., including a workout with backcourt partner Stephen Curry, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Thompson was cleared to train without restrictions in June after suffering a torn ACL during last season’s Finals.
  • The Suns have been the breakout team in Orlando and Devin Booker is confident that will carry over to next season, Nick Friedell of ESPN writes. “I don’t think there’s going to be any sad faces around here, whether we leave here in the playoffs or not,” Booker said. “We’ve put the work in and we’ve grown as a team. We’ve took tremendous strides that I think will build for us for continuing years to come.”

Pacific Notes: Kings, Booker, Davis, Bazemore

In anticipation of the Kings returning to NBA action against the Spurs on July 31, James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area analyzes the team’s full 17-man roster. The team will begin practicing in tandem after the squad arrives at the Orlando Disney World campus next week.

Sacramento big man Marvin Bagley III, injured for most of the season, and newly inked guard Corey Brewer are considered intriguing “wild card” pieces to the Kings puzzle. With a 28-36 record, the Kings are currently on the outside of the playoff hunt looking in.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Suns All-Star Devin Booker deserves to shoulder little blame should Phoenix miss the playoffs in the NBA’s season restart, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. Rankin posits that, with Booker having elevated his play this season, the front office deserves much of the blame for his surrounding teammates. Center Deandre Ayton, drafted ahead of All-Stars Luka Doncic and Trae Young in 2018, has been putting up solid counting statistics this season, but has yet to live up to his billing as a No. 1 pick.
  • Lakers All-Star big man Anthony Davis considers the long league layoff to be beneficial to his club’s title hopes, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I think our chances are higher just because we’re all rested and we’re all ready to go,” Davis said while addressing reporters during a video conference yesterday. Davis and fellow All-Star starter LeBron James have been instrumental in leading the 49-14 Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference. The team boasts top-five ratings in offense and defense this season.
  • Kings bench swingman Kent Bazemore, currently playing out the final season of a four-year, $70MM contract, has indicated that he would like to re-sign in Sacramento for next season and beyond, according to James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). Bazemore was traded to Sacramento from Portland in January. In 21 games with his new team, he has averaged 10.3 PPG, while shooting 42.6% from the field and 38.6% from three-point range, plus 5.0 RPG, 1.1 APG and 1.2 SPG.

Pacific Notes: Bazemore, Kings, Booker, Rivers

Kent Bazemore gave the Kings an unexpected boost after they acquired him from the Trail Blazers, as Zach Lowe of ESPN details. Bazemore made 39% of his 3-point attempts and averaged 16 points per 36 minutes while providing energy and rebounding, Lowe continues. Bazemore, an unrestricted free agent this offseason, also had success on post-ups against smaller guards, Lowe adds.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Re-signing restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic will be the top priority for the Kings this offseason, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic. The Kings intend to match any offer sheet, says Jones. Sacramento will look to upgrade its defense, particular on the wing, but it’s unlikely that big man Harry Giles will return after the team declined to pick up his option for next season, Jones notes.
  • Suns guard Devin Booker has been named a global ambassador for the Special Olympics, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reports. As an ambassador, Booker will continue to work with Special Olympics Arizona, communicate with young Special Olympics athletes on social media and participate in international Special Olympic events, Andrews adds.
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers has been hammering home the message to his players to remain focused on winning a championship, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reports. “I’m trying to get my guys to understand two things: that our goals haven’t changed and the second thing is we cannot use whatever happens when we come out of this as the reason we don’t win,” Rivers said. “So we have to be mentally prepared for something different, something strange, (like) an NCAA tournament-style (or) a three-game series —  Those are just dangerous, anybody can win those things – (or) a five-game series. You just got to be prepared for it and you’re in the same boat. We use this phrase: ‘Win the wait.’”