Kent Bazemore is coming off a season where he was arguably the Hawks’ best player.
The first two years of Kent Bazemore’s four year / 70 million dollar deal have left some fans wanting more. But what a lot of people fail to see is his off the court impact and leadership.
Throughout his career, Baze has been a staple in the community as well as a pillar in the locker room. While the stats don’t necessarily back up earning 17.5 million a year, his impact does.
Last year, Kent could have been considered one of the lone “leaders” by terms of definition on the Hawks. He handled this role about as good that one could hope. During the dismal 24-58 campaign Bazemore put up a solid 13 PPG and just over three RPG and APG. But his most noticeable impact was after he went down with injury. Baze could be seen cheering on his squad and offering advice and criticism to the young players on the floor. If you didn’t know the Hawks, you would swear that he was a coach.
Thankfully, the 2018-19 edition of the Hawks has a better mix of young talent and veteran leaders. Players such as Vince Carter and Jeremy Lin will be able to help Kent Bazemore build a stronger locker room as well as mentoring the young guys.
On the court, I expect Bazemore to pick up where he left off last year with. Here’s my excerpt from my full stat prediction article last month:
“Kent Bazemore | 14.0 PPG | 3.4 RPG | 2.6 APG | 29.9 MPG
Kent Bazemore was the Hawks best player last year. While Trae Young and John Collins will supplant him, Kent’s play will not drop off. I for one could not be happier that Travis decided to hang on to him because of the energy, intensity and leadership Baze brings to the locker room and the community.”
You can check out my full breakdown here.
Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil Twitter/IG
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