PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers have traded Evan Turner to the Atlanta Hawks for Kent Bazemore.
The news was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Bazemore, who turns 30 on July 1, will make $19.3 million in the upcoming season, the final year of his contract.
The 6-foot-5, 201-pound wing is a career 35.2% 3-point shooter. Last season, he averaged 11.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 24.5 minutes per game for the Hawks. He shot 40.2% from the field, 32.0% from the 3-point line and 72.6% from the free-throw line.
In the previous four seasons, Bazemore shot 36.4%, 35.7%, 34.6% and 39.4% from 3. Bazemore is also regarded as a strong defender. He's 6-5 but has a 7-0 wingspan, which allows him to guard multiple positions.
"Kent is a two-way wing that adds depth to our perimeter, is an excellent fit with our returning players and will transition seamlessly to our style of play," Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey said in a prepared release.
Wojnarowski called the trade a "cap-neutral deal for [the] Blazers and Hawks."
"Portland acquires a wing in Bazemore who'll provide an insurance policy on free agent Rodney Hood," Wojnarowski tweeted. "Hood's market value exceeds Portland's ability to keep him using the taxpayer MLE."
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Turner, 30, will make $18.6 million in the 2019-20 season, the final year of his contract. He played 217 games for Portland over the past three seasons, averaging 8.0 point, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while shooting 44.3% from the field and 27.8% from the 3-point line.
The Blazers signed Turner to a four-year, $70 million contract in the summer of 2016. He established himself as a veteran leader who was respected in the locker room and admired by teammates.
"We all love him," Blazers forward Zach Collins told Jason Quick of The Athletic in April.
In that article, Quick recounted how Turner paid for rookies Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. to be fitted for custom suits in September, hosted a Halloween costume party at his home in October, and hosted a video-game tournament at his home in November. He also bought meals for the entire team on more than one occasion.
"He's great for our locker room, great for the morale of the team," Blazers star guard Damian Lillard told Quick. "He brings a good feeling to the team, and I think regardless of what his stats would be or what he has done on the floor, sometimes people have that effect on a team. He is that guy for us."
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Turner's basketball fit with the Blazers wasn't as seamless as his fit in the locker room. He shot 27.8% from the 3-point line in his three seasons in Portland, and his inability to space the floor with outside shooting was a poor fit in head coach Terry Stotts' offense.
He was also a player who was most effective with the ball in his hands, which didn't always gel with the Blazers' ball-dominant stars like Lillard and CJ McCollum.
But Turner found some comfort in his role the past season in Portland, when the team established him as the primary playmaker and leader of the second unit. He averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 22.0 minutes per game, and had some notable highlights, including back-to-back triple-doubles late in the season.
On April 1, Turner had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 132-122 win against the Timberwolves. Two days later, he had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in a 116-89 win against the Grizzlies, becoming the first player in the NBA with consecutive triple-doubles off the bench since the 1983-84 season.
"We want to thank Evan for his many contributions to the team. He was a critical player in our run to the Western Conference Finals and he will be missed on and off the court," Olshey said in a press release.
Turner is expected to play backup point guard for the Hawks, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic.
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