Who is Kent Bazemore?


Along with MarShon Brooks, Bazemore became a Laker.  Straight from the Vegas Pro League, he had a few highlight reel plays that got the crowd buzzing.

The Golden State Warriors tried to make him a point guard.  Listed at 6’3.5″ (w/o shoes) with a 6’11.5″ wingspan, it certainly seemed possible.  His size compares similarly to Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder, where is size is also roughly 6’3″ with a 7′ wingspan.

Feb 21, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kent Bazemore (6) shoots the ball as Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger (7) defends during the second quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Athletically, he’s a great athlete, able to explode for dunks and finish due to his wingspan and above average vert.  His quick first step combined with a left-handed lead dribble makes him excellent for straight-line drives within a halfcourt set.  Lateral agility is solid as well.  It’s just a matter of time before the skills come together.

Offensively, he has several opportunities.  His floor game can be described as loose.  While he’s a straight-line driver who finishes hard at the hoop, he has a relatively limited skill set as a guard.  He’s not the type of guard to really put a defender on their heels or shake a defender to get by.  He has a crossover at the beginning and uses a tremendous first step to get by.  Pull-up jumpers can seem off-balanced and his high motor; loose style of play will be reminiscent of playing on a blacktop.  He is able to attack in either direction, but could stand to add a few dimensions to his offensive game, such has consistent perimeter jumpshooting in spot up situations and pull-up situations off-the-dribble.  He flat out attacks the basket from multiple angles, but struggles to lead a team in a halfcourt set.  His idea of creating plays is going into isolation from behind the three-point line with an active dribble.

During his stint playing point guard at the Vegas Pro League, he had issues protecting the basketball under duress.  Creating offensive opportunities through more advanced halfcourt play was an issue.  He’s a small forward in a point guard’s body.

Kent Bazemore Scores 26 Points Against the Lakers During the Vegas Pro League

Defensively, he has all of the physical tools, but lacks consistent focus.  Solid lateral agility along with a center’s wingspan gives him great potential to be a quality man-defender at the NBA level.  During his last three seasons at Old Dominion, he was good for well over two steals a game and nearly one block per game.

Overall, Laker fans can think of him as a Shannon Brown-type of guard.  Shannon Brown excelled with transition points and powerful finishes, but lacked the floor game and decision-making to make it as a quality shooting guard or point guard at the NBA level.  He excelled a spot up shooter within halfcourt sets, and his field goal percentages dropped the more he put the ball on the floor.  Kent is far more comfortable handling the basketball and is nearly as powerful a finisher as Shannon Brown, but has no speciality within the halfcourt set or on the defensive end.  He is aggressive at attacking the basket, but doesn’t know how to integrate the team within the offensive set.  At age 24, he still has plenty of upside as an NBA player.  It took years for Reggie Jackson to find his niche behind Russell Westbrook, but once he applied offensive IQ in a half-court set, OKC was able to acquire more wins while Westbrook was recovering.  Bazemore can be that kind of playmaker.  It’s up to him.