The Lakers traded guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for two young players, Kent Bazemore and Marshon Brooks. Is this a tanking move or do the Lakers find something intriguing in their talent that make them amenable for a seven week audition with the advantage of having the first option of resigning them in their hopes of building an athletic bench in 2014-15? You decide.
MarShon Brooks: He played in the Big East for Providence and he developed as a scorer his junior year. He averaged 14 points on 46% shooting and dropped 20 points on several occasions. Against Vermont he had 24 points on 8-10 shooting and 5 steals. As a senior he averaged 24 points a game and led his team in scoring and rebounding. Against Notre Dame he scored 52 points, 35 in the second half, 15 points in the last two minutes. He was 20-28 in that game. He also scored 48 points against Georgetown and became the second player in Providence history to score over 40 points in a season. He was second in Division I in scoring. He was one of 30 finalists for the John Wooden Award. He was drafted in the first round by the Boston Celtics (25th pick) then traded to the Nets for JaJuan Johnson (currently in Itlay). In April of last year he had a career high of 27 points, shooting 12-16. He played in 73 games for the Nets and shot 46%. He was traded to Boston in the Kevin Garnett deal and later traded to Golden State where he only played in 7 games.
Kent Bazemore: He is a big shooting guard, the kind Phil Jackson loves. He is 6’5” and plays defense. At Old Dominion he won the Lefty Driesell Award for the best defensive player in the country. He was an improving scorer but excelled at getting steals. In his junior year he averaged 12 points a game and 5 rebounds and a gaudy 2+ steals. He was the Defensive Player of the Year for the Colonial Athletic Conference. Before his senior year he was named preseason player of the year. That season he averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. He wasn’t drafted and made a name for himself in the summer leagus and was signed by the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors were deep at the guard position with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Jarrett Jack and Bazemore got little playing time. His biggest moment as a professional was in the 2013 playoffs. He was put into game 1 against the Spurs and with three seconds left in regulation he made a shot giving the Warriors the lead and a possible upset win on the road. But Manu Ginobli hit a three as time was running out that sent the game to overtime and the Spurs won in double overtime. Last year in a summer league game against the Lakers, with the Warriors trailing by double digits, Bazemore entered in the fourth quarter and turned a loss into a victory.