The Atlanta Hawks traded Kent Bazemore to the Portland Trailblazers for Evan Turner. Bazemore exiting marks an end of an era of Hawks basketball.
With Bazemore gone, every single player, and Coach Bud is gone from the 2014-2015 season that saw the Hawks win 60 games and make their first-ever Eastern Conference Finals. Pero Antic, Elton Brand, Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Teague, Denis Schroder, Shelvin Mack, John Jenkins, Thabo Sefolosha, Mike Scott, Mike Muscala, Austin Daye, and Bazemore are all gone to different homes now. The Hawks got back this in return.
The record that season was 60-22, a franchise record for the Atlanta Hawks. Ultimately, the season would end at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavilers in the Eastern Conference Finals. I don’t think many fans actually believed the Hawks could get past LeBron James to make their first-ever NBA Finals, but the success that team had that season has changed the path for the Atlanta Hawks. After the collapse of that roster, the Hawks started their rebuild. With young talents like Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, John Collins, Cam Reddish, and DeAndre Hunter, the Hawks are looking to recreate that success with this new generation of Hawks players. Kent Bazemore served as the bridge between these twos eras of Hawks basketball.
This move makes sense for the Hawks and their roster as constructed today. Since the Hawks traded Jeremy Lin to the Raptors last season, the Hawks have needed a backup, veteran point guard to back up Trae Young. Evan Turner can serve that role, while also being an asset the Hawks can flip at some point in the future. Bazemore would have been buried on the bench of this team behind a gaggle of young players the Hawks are working on developing.
Kent Bazemore was one of the most fun and high-energy guys I’ve ever seen in a Hawks uniform. Whether it was his postgame antics while his teammates were being interviews or Bazemore sitting down to do a podcast on what the road life of an NBA player is like, Baze’s presence was hard to ignore. Moving to the Blazers will provide Bazemore more chances to play and provide on a team with championship aspirations. It was fun to watch him do his thing in Atlanta, and now I look forward to watching him shoot open-threes in Portland. Good luck, Baze!