The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t want to lose Kent Bazemore in free agency, but to put themselves in position to sign Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James they were forced to renounce his rights. That move allowed Bazemore to test the market where he eventually signed a two-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks.
They were just one of many teams who expressed interest in the young guard, including the aforementioned Los Angeles Lakers who were reportedly in contract negotiations with Bazemore before he opted to sign his contract with the Hawks.
So why did Bazemore pick the Hawks over the Lakers? Urgency, apparently.
While the Los Angeles Lakers were working with Bazemore on a deal, they still were waiting for other free agent dominoes to fall and understandably, Bazemore knew he had to strike while the iron was hot.
Bazemore’s representatives were also in contract discussions with the Lakers on Friday, but there was more urgency on Atlanta’s end, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin.
“Just a timing thing,” the source said. “(The Lakers) couldn’t agree tonight … Hawks needed it done.”
To say it’s been a rough offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers would be a pretty severe understatement. From whiffing on James and Anthony to losing Gasol, despite reportedly offering him more money than the Chicago Bulls, to losing Bazemore.
The team was able to re-sign some fellow free agents, like Jordan Hill and Nick Young and did preserve future salary cap space. Still, I don’t imagine that was the dream offeseason scenario in Hollywood.