Although the Lakers declined to extend a $1.1 million to make Kent Bazemore a restricted free agent, the Lakers reached out to his representatives expressing interest in re-signing the reserve forward, according to a league source familiar with the discussions.
Bazemore also fielded calls from the Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, with coach Brad Stevens personally called Bazemore to express interest in him. 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.
Bazemore impressed the Lakers with his athleticism, defense and work ethic after acquiring him in a trade that sent Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors. Bazemore averaged 13.1 points per game through 28 appearances. But the Lakers passed on giving him a qualifying offer to avoid having a $3 million caphold to secure his position go against their salary cap. The Lakers already have $37 million of next season’s $63 million salary cap committed to Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and rookie Julius Randle. The Lakers would like to secure as much as the money left available to entice LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
If the Lakers had made Bazemore a restricted free agent, they would have had the rights to match any offer he received.
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