Is Kent Bazemore a Viable Long-Term Contributor for LA Lakers?

Kent Bazemore wasn’t expected to have a significant impact for the Los Angeles Lakers after arriving via trade on February 19. And then came one breakout game after another.

The team’s latest surprise has started in eight of nine appearances since coming to L.A., averaging 15 points and three assists in 30.9 minutes per game.

To put that into greater context, the undrafted second-year guard out of Old Dominion has the third-highest scoring average of all players on the Lakers’ roster, right behind Nick Young, who has been mostly sidelined since fracturing his knee in early February.

As Mike Bresnahan for the Los Angeles Times writes, basketball life has changed for a guy who was best known for over-the-top celebrations while hanging out on the Golden State Warriors bench:

It's been a blur for Bazemore, who arrived with MarShon Brooks for Steve Blake in what was considered a salary dump that saved the Lakers about $4 million in player payroll and luxury taxes. He'll happily take the on-the-job experience. His career averages with Golden State were 2.1 points and 5.1 minutes.

Per Bresnahan, Bazemore is enjoying the transition immensely:

It's fun playing in the biggest market outside of New York. It's a blast. People down here, they don't really like Golden State, so I was kind of nervous about that but they greeted me with open arms. They're cheering me on. You can hear the little claps from the crowd when they call my name.

After failing to find a home during the 2012 NBA draft, Bazemore joined Golden State’s summer league roster and impressed management enough to sign him to a two-year, partially guaranteed contract. The 6’5” swingman is a lefty shooter with a reputation for athleticism and defensive intensity. Bazemore has an absolutely ridiculous 6’11.5” wingspan, per Draft Express, which no doubt helped when he swatted ...

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