Atlanta Hawks Beef up Roster With Bazemore, Brand
As the NBA’s 2015 regular season nears, the Atlanta Hawks have filled up their remaining vacancies by signing Kent Bazemore and re-signing Elton Brand.
A great addition
Coach Mike Budenholzer said on Tuesday that Bazemore’s “competitiveness and versatility make him a great addition” to the Hawks. Budenholzer added that Bazemore can “impact the game in a lot of ways, especially defensively, guarding multiple positions.”
The 25-year old guard split the 2014 season with the Warriors and Lakers and averaged 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Bazemore was languishing in the Golden State bench when he was traded to the Lakers along with Marshon Brooks for veteran guard Steve Blake. The undrafted Old Dominion product immediately made an impact in the troubled and depleted Lakers’ squad.
After an increase of playing time from the six minutes per game in Golden State to 28 minutes per contest in LA, Bazemore responded by producing 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He also averaged 1.4 three pointers per game on .371 3FG shooting during his 23-game stint with the Lakers.
Budenholzer called his “work ethic and enthusiasm for the game a great fit with the Hawks.” Bazemore becomes the only the second shooting guard in the Hawks’ current line-up. Because of that , he will most probably backup starter Kyle Korver.
On the other hand, the Hawks also re-signed Forward/Center Elton Brand. The 15-year NBA veteran had his most statistically challenging season in 2014 and averaged a career low 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest.
The old former #1 pick of the 1999 NBA Draft also played for the Bulls, Clippers, Sixers and Magic in a 1,005 game NBA career where he’s averaged 16.6 points, 8.8 rebounds in 34 minutes of playing time. Brand easily becomes the oldest player in the Hawks’ 2015 roster and is only one of three players over 30 years old in this young Hawks’ unit. Brand was a former Rookie of the Year Winner, a former two time NBA All-Star and a 2006 NBA sportsmanship award.
Budenholzer called Brand “the ultimate professional and a terrific leader”. Brand is already way past his prime but the young Hawks need him not just for his production but for his leadership. Brand is the team’s third power forward after Paul Millsap and Mike Scott.
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