It certainly didn’t take the Milwaukee Bucks long to reach out to Kent Bazemore.
At 12:01 on Friday morning, or the very start of free agency, the Bucks made a call to Bazemore in Atlanta, where the latter has an offseason home.
The fact that Bazemore was the first player contacted by the Bucks speaks volumes about their interest in him. A current NBA player familiar with the Bucks said he believes the 6-foot-5 Bazemore, a multi-positional player who played for the Atlanta Hawks last two seasons, is Milwaukee’s priority free agent.
Sources said Bazemore spoke with several Bucks officials, including head coach Jason Kidd, general manager John Hammond and assistant general manager Justin Zanik.
Bazemore, who celebrates his 27th birthday today, played in 75 games last season for Atlanta, starting 68. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.
Bazemore’s calling-card is his versatility. While he is primarily a wing player, he can also play some point guard. There were also occasions last season where Bazemore was assigned to cover power forwards, including Cleveland’s Kevin Love.
Bazemore has drawn interest from a slew of teams, but is expected to meet with about a handful of teams. Bazemore met with a contingent of Houston Rockets officials Friday morning in Atlanta, shortly after talking to the Bucks. The Rockets brought some heavily artillery to the meeting, including GM Daryl Morey, head coach Mike D’Antoni, star guard James Harden and former Rockets stars Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
An official of another team that is involved with Bazemore said he was told Bazemore plans to meet with the Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies in the next couple of days. The Hawks also remain in the picture for Bazemore.
It is believed the Rockets and Bucks have already presented a contract offer to Bazemore. There was a report that Bazemore was seeking around $20 million, although two sources claimed it was closer to $16 million.