As the teeth of the NBA offseason approaches, the Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks have made a trade.
Between last week’s draft and the start of free agency, it’s a bit of a down period in the NBA offseason in terms of concrete moves. But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski a trade was made on Monday, as the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to send Evan Turner to the Atlanta Hawks for Kent Bazemore.
Turner was drafted second overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2010 draft and has spent the last three seasons with Portland. This past season, he averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game over 73 games (two starts).
Bazemore started 35 of the 67 games he played for Atlanta last year. He averaged 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 32 percent from 3-point range. He had been the longest-tenured Hawk, with five seasons under his belt, and he was the third-oldest player on the team after Vince Carter and Miles Plumlee.
Turner and Bazemore each signed four-year, $70 million deals in the summer of 2016, as teams spent big, so they are both entering the final year of their contract in 2019-20. Bazemore is due to make a little bit more next season, with $19.26 million salary (via Spotrac) compared to Turner’s $18.6 million.
The primary difference between the two players is outside shooting. Bazemore converted over 35 percent from beyond the arc in three of four seasons prior to 2018-19 (39.4 percent in 2017-18), while Turner made just a shade over 21 percent for the Trail Blazers this past season.
Much of that difference is shaped by what’s asked of each guy. Bazemore fits the mold of a “3-and-D” wing, while Turner doesn’t shoot as much and had served as a primary ball handler for Portland’s second unit.
Chris Kirschner of The Athletic pointed to the fit on each side of the deal.
Financially the trade is essentially a wash for the Trail Blazers and the Hawks, as they swap bloated expiring contracts. Bazemore fits with Portland’s need for another capable perimeter shooter, and the Hawks will open up minutes for some young guys while installing Turner as a veteran backup point guard.