Atlanta Hawks Offseason Grades: The Bazemore Trade

Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Kent Bazemore #24 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The first story in what will be an ongoing series of offseason grades revolving around what the Atlanta Hawks did this offseason.

Trading away a fan favorite is always tough, especially one that is was the current longest-tenured player on the team. Kent Bazemore was that player for the Atlanta Hawks — the last remaining face from the not-so-distant 60-win season, who was sent to Portland in late June.

Even though his name had been tossed around the past two trade deadlines, the actual trade still was a bit surprising, and seemingly out of nowhere. Even more puzzling was the return: Evan Turner, a 30-year-old journeyman coming off a down year in Portland.

It soon became obvious however, that Turner was going to serve as the backup point guard behind Trae Young, and that was all but confirmed when the team let Jaylen Adams go just a few weeks later.

The 6’7 Turner can feasibly play 4 positions on the court, and was running point forward before the likes of Ben Simmons, Lebron James and Draymond Green made it cool, but has worked in that position only sometimes.

It’ll be interesting to see how he works full time at the PG spot for the Atlanta Hawks next season.

Trading the fellow 30-year-old Bazemore for Turner makes sense in that regard as well, as the Atlanta Hawks have much more young talent loaded up at the forward spot than guard, especially point guard.

Still, Kent Bazemore is a better player than Evan Turner. Hands down.

Comparing their respective ’18-19 seasons, Bazemore beat out the former 2nd overall pick (2010, 76ers) in most major categories outside of assists and rebounds while playing similar minutes per game.

One of Baze’s best aspects was his consistent 3-ball, shooting 35 percent through his 4 years in Atlanta. That will have to be filled elsewhere, as Evan Turner shot just 52 threes (making 11) compared to Bazemore’s 300 attempts (96).

Turner will be able to fill in for Bazemore’s quality defense, as they ranked very similarly in defensive rating over the past few seasons. The steal count will be down, but the Atlanta Hawks already-stagnant defense won’t be taking a major hit from this trade.

Grade: C

The grade can certainly rise or fall given Turner’s performance this season, and it’s worth noting that his expiring contract could turn some contender’s heads come trade season. It would have been very nice if the Hawks had been able to pry even a 2nd rounder along with Turner from the Blazers, especially given Bazemore’s presence among fans and the city.

On the bright side, Baze will be on a team ready to make another deep playoff run, and he is a free agent next summer so you never know if a reunion is on the table or not.

Next. 3 Ways Rookies Can Help in 2019-20. dark

Stay tuned for more offseason grades as we look back on every move the Atlanta Hawks made this offseason. It’s all on Soaring Down South. Thanks for reading!