The deal will save Los Angeles $3.5 million in luxury tax as it cuts down the total to a little above $7 million over the salary cap threshold.
It came as a total surprise to Blake as he changed from his uniform to street clothes just an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Houston Rockets.
“Mixed emotions, really,” Blake said. “I knew it could happen but didn’t expect it to happen, all at the same time. The hardest thing is really for my family, really. I got a wife, three little kids and now I’m going to have to spend four months, probably, away from them and so that’s going to be the hardest part.”
The 33-year-old had spent the last three and half seasons with Los Angeles after he signed a four year, $16 million deal in July 2010. Before this season, Blake has been a solid contributor off the bench for Lakers as he helped them make the playoffs in his first three years with the team.
“I’ve loved my time here (in Los Angeles),” Blake said. When you spend (time) in some place this long, you start to get comfortable. We loved where we lived, loved the schools my kids were in and always loved the support of the fans and ownership and everybody. So, it’s one of the best places I’ve ever played at and if in the future they wanted me back, I would absolutely, definitely consider it.”
Blake this season is averaging 9.5 points with career highs in assists (7.6), and minutes (33.0) per game. The 33-year-old had missed 26 games due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He returned from the injury on Feb. 4 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As for the two players the Lakers acquired, in Bazemore and Brooks are two young guards who will be able to contribute immediately to their new team. Bazemore went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft and has spent his first two season in the league with Warriors in a limited role of the bench.
Bazemore for his career is averaging 2.3 points, 0.5 assists and 0.9 rebounds in 5.1 minutes per game. However, he had an impressive 2013 Summer League as helped lead the Warriors to a Summer League Championship. In those seven games played he averaged 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 30.1 minutes per game.
Brooks, who was drafted as the 25th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, but was traded to Brooklyn Nets short after being selected.
In his first season he started 47 games and averaged 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists in 29.4 minutes per game. Since his rookie season he has been traded twice from the Nets to the Celtics this past offseason and he was traded to the Warriors last month.
Photo Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
Bob Garcia IV
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