Lakers reserve forward Kent Bazemore plans to have meetings next week with the San Antonio Spurs (Tuesday) and the Boston Celtics (Wednesday) about possibly joining their team, according to a league source familiar with the situation.
Bazemore has attracted some interest since free agency began on Monday night, his representatives also fielding calls from the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bulls. Celtics coach Brad Stevens even personally called Bazemore on Monday night, according to a league source. But only the Spurs and Celtics are currently scheduled to meet with Bazemore.
The Lakers reiterated their interest in retaining Bazemore after averaging 13.1 points per game through 28 appearances, arriving after the NBA trade deadline in a deal that sent Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors. But the Lakers opted against granting Bazemore a $1.1 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent, which would give them the right to match any offers he receives elsewhere.
Bazemore’s immediate possibilities seem different. Bazemore would likely play a reserve role on a veteran Spurs team that just won an NBA championship, while Bazemore could play a similar role with a rebuilding Celtics team. Bazemore is more interested in joining a team where he can have the largest role and is less concerned about the cost and length of any potential deal. That is because Bazemore believes he will develop quicker that way and better cement his NBA future after having a minimal role in two seasons with Golden State.