NBA Free Agency Palooza 2014 is off to a roaring start in many cities across the league, but in Philadelphia, we're really just scraping for any cookie crumb that falls on the floor. The first crumb, the Sixers reported interest in Celtics guard Avery Bradley, was vacuumed away quickly as Bradley signed a four year, $32 million deal to remain a Celtic. The latest crumb comes from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, who reports that the Sixers, among many, many others, have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent shooting guard Kent Bazemore.
Bazemore came into the league with the Golden State Warriors in 2012 and spent most of his rookie year tethered to the bench, and struggled to earn consistent playing time in the 2013-14 season before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at the deadline, where he became a starter for the first time and averaged 13.1 points per game in 28 minutes per night.
Beyond the stat sheet, Bazemore is (stop me if you heard this before) an ultra-long guard, measuring in with a 6-11 1/2 wingspan on a 6-5, 201 pound frame. He's a very good on-ball defender and can also shoot a little, averaging 37% from three-point range during his admittedly small 23-game stint with the Lakers.
Bazemore also made his name in the Las Vegas Summer League last season as well, with solid fundamental basketball, averaging 18 points a night, and BIG TIME DUNKS, which really makes him a natural fit for this Sixers team. Frankly, I'm surprised he wasn't already on it.
At only 25 years old, he fits the profile of exactly what the Sixers and extreme couponer Sam Hinkie would be looking for in a free agent. Unfortunately, he also fits the profile of what many other teams would be looking for in a free agent. According to Kennedy, the Hawks, Spurs, Suns, Celtics, Mavericks, and Jazz have expressed interest in Bazemore, as have the Lakers expressed interest in re-signing him. As such, he probably won't come as cheap as one would expect or hope for a player with as limited a track record of real-life NBA success as Bazemore.
So we'll see. With that many bidders, I'd be surprised if the Sixers landed Bazemore for the type of deal they'd probably like to sign him to, but it could just be a lot of free agency smoke. Stay tuned.