With Jordan Clarkson re-signed and their hole at center filled with the acquisition of Cleveleand Cavaliers seven-footer Timofey Mozgov, the Los Angeles Lakers' main area of need left this offseason is depth on the wings. There is reportedly mutual interest between the team and Chandler Parsons, and the front office also plans to pursue Nicolas Batum, but they have a little more familiarity with one of the other available players.
Kent Bazemore spent half a season with the Lakers following the team acquiring him in a deal with the Golden State Warriors for Steve Blake, and while the team let him walk without even making him a restricted free agent that summer, the front office is intrigued with a much higher-priced reunion with the former undrafted free agent.
"The Lakers expressed interest on Thursday in acquiring Atlanta forward Kent Bazemore," according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, who notes that Bazemore took a meeting with the Houston Rockets on the first night of free agency.
Bazemore would be an excellent signing for the Lakers, and would serve as a capable starter at either small forward or shooting guard, with Jordan Clarkson or Brandon Ingram coming off of the bench. Such a move probably makes most sense for Clarkson, who would feast on second units as a sixth man while Ingram would be saved from the burden of having to guard an opponent's best wing player right off of the bat.
Bazemore's level of interest in a return remains unknown, and his not already being on the Lakers' roster when the team easily could have kept him aboard is even sadder when Medina puts it in context:
The Lakers opted against giving [Bazemore] a $1.1 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent in order to maximize purchasing power for LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The Lakers also finalized deals with Jeremy Lin, Nick Young and Jordan Hill.
Yeah, so, that might be one of the worst offseasons in Lakers' history. Yeesh.
At least with Bazemore as an unrestricted free agent, the Lakers can see if they can use their crazy amounts of cash to rectify that mistake.
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