Last year, Kent Bazemore chose the Los Angeles Lakers over a return to the Golden State Warriors because the Lakers gave him a better chance to win a championship. Although the Warriors offered an extra year and the chance to keep playing with his BFF Steph Curry, Bazemore wanted to play with LeBron James.
Bazemore turned down more money and years (two) from the Warriors, sources say, but believes he will have a bigger role and opportunity to win a championship with the Lakers. Bazemore is betting on himself. https://t.co/rw1VyXMN9c— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 3, 2021
So Bazemore headed to the Lakers to win 33 games, and the desperate Warriors had to settle for a 28-year-old journeyman wing who’d played in 71 games in his entire NBA career.
A year later, Bazemore is looking for a job, as he and former Warrior Quinn Cook were waived by the Kings, as Sacramento cut its roster down to 18 players.
Bazemore, how do you feel about your choices?
Congrats to my homies…….— Kenny Baze (@24Bazemore) May 27, 2022
But I’m sick bruh
Bazemore was a very solid player in his second go-round with the Warriors in 2020-21. He averaged 7.2 points per game and shot 41% from three-point range. Bazemore spent most of the year coming off the bench, but when he was elevated to the starting lineup at the end of the year, the Warriors went 13-4 in games he started.
Last year, his offensive performance cratered, along with, well, the entire Lakers team. Baze couldn’t make a two-pointer to save his life, shooting just 27% on twos. He started 14 games, but he was effectively out of the rotation before Christmas. After that, his playing time was dependent on players ahead of him getting hurt. Unfortunately, a man famed for his enthusiasm and bench celebrations only makes teammates feel worse when they’re the most disappointing team in the NBA.
Bazemore turned 33 this summer, and he has about a week to try to catch on with another team - perhaps why the Kings cut him early. Normally this is the sort of player the Warriors might add after the trade deadline, but the team is unusually young and deep at the wing positions this season. Forget Moses Moody or Done DiVincenzo; the Warriors are likely more interested in Quindarry Weatherspoon and lacrosse star Pat Spencer than Baze, unless Steph Curry is really desperate for golf buddies.
Cook spent a year and a half with the Lakers from 2019-21, winning his second championship ring in 2020. The Warriors likely would have kept Cook around had his childhood friend Kevin Durant stayed around, but once KD left, the Warriors pulled his qualifying offer and let him become a free agent. Cook spent some time with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021, and played six games for Russian powerhouse Lokomotiv Kuban.
Shockingly, this leaves the Sacramento Kings with just one former Warrior on their roster, 2015 NBA champion Harrison Barnes, AKA, “The Black Falcon.” But don’t worry! As per tradition, the Kings still employ former Dubs assistant Mike Brown and Leandro “We Gonna Be Championship” Barbosa as coaches.