The Atlanta Hawks are making moves this off-season to set themselves up to make the playoffs come next season. That is why they traded away Kent Bazemore to the Portland Trail Blazers for Evan Turner.
This is a good trade for the Hawks because they acquired a player who can lead them with veteran experience. Turner is a reliable scorer who is very crafty. His leadership will help them when they struggle and if they are in the playoffs, he will be worth more than what Bazemore was.
Why did the Blazers trade for Bazemore? The reason is simpler than you think. They loved the production Rodney Hood gave them but they know they can’t pay Hood so they traded for a wing player. Turner and Bazemore have similar contracts so they cancel each other out. Losing Hood will hurt the Blazers but they already have replaced him early in free agency.
I think the Hawks will make the playoffs next year even though they are very young. That team is very talented and can play. They are up-and-coming and they know that. I think this trade will pay off down the road and may be the difference between a first round and a second round exit.
On the other coast, the Blazers made the Western Conference Finals but got swept by the Golden State Warriors. That might be their ceiling and I do not see them making it that far again. Bazemore is a good pickup because he is a great defensive player but it won’t be enough.