Much like his free agent teammate, Al Horford, Kent Bazemore is highly sought after by more than a handful of teams. Every few hours another team is rumored to be linked to the energetic wing-player. The Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets are the most recent franchises to express great interest after Bazemore's red carpet meeting with the Houston Rockets. The meeting was attended by legends Hakeem Olajuwan and Clyde Drexler, along with current superstar James Harden. Bazemore reportedly left the meeting very impressed, but without a deal in place.
Bazemore's salary the past two seasons combined for $4 million. His next contract could reach as high as $20 million per year. This mirrors last season's Hawks free agent swingman DeMarre Carroll, as his salary also took an enormous jump. It's not lost on the Hawks that they'll have to start retaining all of this talent they're developing at some point instead of using the wing position as a revolving door. They're probably optimistic that long control over recent draft pick Taurean Prince can help fix that issue.
It's becoming increasingly likely that the Hawks will lose Bazemore to another suitor. He has stated that he would wait until after the Fourth of July to take free agent meetings and make a decision on where to play. The Rockets barged in and immediately created another wildcard for the Hawks. It's worth mentioning that Al Horford is also set to meet with the Rockets later today. Bazemore has stated he would love to stay in Atlanta. He's also an undrafted player who's had to fight particularly hard for every dime he's earned and no one would blame him for taking more money at a different location.
As he works through meetings and negotiations today, he'll also celebrate turning 27 years old. A week from now regardless of whether or not he stays with the Hawks, he should easily have some extra money to treat himself to a nice birthday gift.