The Lakers are losing another player to free agency.
Guard Kent Bazemore, acquired by the Lakers before the February trade deadline for point guard Steve Blake, will sign a two-year, $4-million deal with the Atlanta Hawks, according to his agent Austin Walton.
The Lakers held Bazemore’s “Early Bird” rights, which would have enabled them to pay him up to $5.6 million even after using their cap room this summer. The team also could have made Bazemore a restricted free agent in June with a $1.1-million qualifying offer, but chose to let him go unrestricted.
In 23 games for the Lakers, Bazemore averaged 13.1 points and 3.1 assists, shooting 45.1% from the field. His season ended a few weeks early after he tore a tendon in his right foot, an injury that required surgery in April.
Keeping Bazemore would not have taken a major financial commitment, but the Lakers weren’t ready to lock in a deal Friday. The Hawks came through with a concrete offer to pluck the 25-year old from the Lakers’ roster.
It was a busy Friday for the Lakers, who agreed to acquire Jeremy Lin and a first-round pick in trade from the Houston Rockets. The team also made deals to re-sign Nick Young and Jordan Hill.
Besides Bazemore, the team has lost Jodie Meeks (Detroit Pistons), Jordan Farmar (Clippers) and Chris Kaman (Portland Trail Blazers) to free agency.
Next on that list almost certainly will be Pau Gasol, set to choose a destination outside of Los Angeles in the coming days.