Kent Bazemore pulled a fast one on the NBA world by breaking his weekend of free agent solitude in meeting with the Houston Rockets early on Friday morning. Now, word is breaking that Bazemore’s agent could be asking for an enormous financial commitment on an annual basis.
Teams that have inquired with Kent Bazemore's agent since midnight under impression it might take $19M-$20M per year to sign him.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 1, 2016
Zach Lowe of ESPN reports that Bazemore could be seeking $19-20 million per season and, presumably, this would be over the length of a three-to-four year pact. The 27-year-old swingman has long been seen as a potential target to reach the eight-figure barrier in free agency, but this would be a new stratosphere for Bazemore, and the Hawks could be faced with a difficult decision as a result.
Atlanta would have the space to sign Kent Bazemore to this type of contract without additional salary cap gymnastics, and that is a result of the deal that sent Jeff Teague away in exchange for a cheaper option in the form of a first-round pick. However, the Hawks would be effectively “tapped out” in terms of spending power if the team provided Bazemore with a deal of this magnitude, and that could also have an impact on the pending pursuit of Al Horford.