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Kent Bazemore will miss remainder of season with bone bruise

Not great news for Atlanta’s leader.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: The Hawks have announced the injury and Bazemore will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2017-2018 season.

When Kent Bazemore exited Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls, it didn’t look to be the best news for the Atlanta Hawks. On Monday, word broke from Michael Cunningham of the AJC that the team’s starting shooting guard will miss “several weeks” as a result of the injury, with a diagnosis of a bone bruise.

Given that Atlanta’s season will come to an end on Apr. 10, a timetable of this magnitude could conceivably mean the end of Bazemore’s season. At the time of this post, no official announcement has emerged from the Hawks.

Bazemore has arguably been Atlanta’s most important player this season, providing two-way value as the team’s best perimeter defender and knocking down more than 39 percent of his three-point attempts. Beyond that, the veteran swingman has improved markedly as an offensive creator and initiator, putting together what is likely the best overall season of his NBA career.

In Bazemore’s absence, the Hawks will be dealing with a severe shortage of wing players, as Michael Cunningham of the AJC also reported that Jaylen Morris is set to miss time with an ankle injury. Given the current absence of Malcolm Delaney, that leaves the Hawks with only Taurean Prince, Tyler Dorsey and two-way player Andrew White as healthy wing options and, quite obviously, that is less than ideal.

The Hawks have little incentive to push Bazemore’s recovery with the rebuild at the forefront of everything in Atlanta but, in the same breath, it is highly unfortunate to see a strong individual season derailed by injury. Stay tuned.