NBA veteran Kent Bazemore is set to return to The Sacramento Kings for a critical season after signing a one-year contract with the team.
The Sacramento Kings have been making strategic moves this offseason intending to break their 16-season streak of missing the NBA playoffs. According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Kings have signed free-agent Kent Bazemore to a one-year contract. Bazemore made a statement on Twitter shortly after the news was reported and appeared to be thrilled about returning to Sacramento, where he will play for coach Mike Brown, the former Golden State Warriors associate head coach. Brown’s tenure with the Kings as the head coach was announced in May 2022, after the Warriors finished their 2021–22 season.
Sacramento has added Malik Monk, KZ Okpala, Matthew Dellavedova, Kevin Huerter, and now Kent Bazemore to their roster this offseason. In January 2022, the Portland Trail Blazers traded Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to the Kings for Trevor Ariza, Wenyen Gabriel, and Caleb Swanigan. Bazemore played in Sacramento during the 2019-2020 pandemic-shortened NBA season, where he was a source of strong leadership and robust locker-room presence, providing depth and direction to the Kings. In the 2019-20 season, Bazemore played in a total of 25 games for Sacramento, where he averaged 10.3 points and 4.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game while shooting almost 42% from the field and 38.4% from 3-point range. He is a career 35.6% 3-point shooter.
Bazemore, a 10-year NBA veteran, is expected to give the Kings much-needed depth behind Harrison Barnes at the small forward spot. Bazemore had joined the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Orlando Summer League and the Golden State Warriors for the Las Vegas Summer League after going undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft. In 2013, Bazemore re-joined Golden State for the Summer League, where he was named a Summer League All-Tournament Team Recipient. The 33-year-old has also played for the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, and most recently, the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021-22 season. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound forward mainly played as a shooting guard early in his career, but over the past several seasons, he has made his presence felt in the small forward position in a backcourt featuring the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, and Terence Davis.
The NBA’s 77th season begins on this coming October 18 and concludes on April 9, 2023 with Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena scheduled to host the 2023 NBA All-Star Game on February 19, 2023. Despite the new season not beginning for another few months, there are already a few favorites to win the championship. The Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Clippers are the four most fancied to top the leaderboard, according to some of the most popular NJ sports betting, such as bet365. The 2021 NBA Finals saw the Bucks take on the Phoenix Suns, with the Bucks winning the series in six games, ultimately giving Giannis Antetokounmpo his first NBA Championship. The Clippers have superstars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both dealt with injuries last season. With the compelling trio of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, as well as Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Kevon Looney retained on the lineup; the Dubs are still a team to beat in the league.