Report: Blazers and Hawks to swap veteran wings Evan Turner and Kent Bazemore

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4717/" data-ylk="slk:Evan Turner">Evan Turner</a> and <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/5102/" data-ylk="slk:Kent Bazemore">Kent Bazemore</a> once went to battle in a 2016 first-round playoff series. (Getty Images)
Evan Turner and Kent Bazemore once went to battle in a 2016 first-round playoff series. (Getty Images)

The Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks are swapping high-salaried veteran wings Evan Turner and Kent Bazemore, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Both Turner and Bazemore are entering the final year of the four-year contracts they signed in the spending-crazed summer of 2016. Turner will make $18.6 million next year, while Bazemore recently picked up his $19.3 million player option for 2019-20.

Hawks acquire veteran leadership

Following a resurgent 2015-16 season with the Boston Celtics, Turner signed a four-year, $70 million deal in Portland, but the former No. 2 overall pick’s production never matched his contract. The 30-year-old averaged 6.8 points (50.4 true shooting percentage), 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 22 minutes over 73 games for the Blazers this past season. His 14 points in a Western Conference semifinals Game 7 victory against the Denver Nuggets was the highlight of his Portland career.

A tremendously well-respected teammate and one of the NBA’s best quotes, Turner should be a positive influence on a Hawks team building around recent first-round picks John Collins, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish and Trae Young.

Blazers bolster wing depth

Upon signing his four-year, $70 million extension in 2016, Bazemore immediately went from one of the NBA’s most underrated wings to one of the league’s most overpaid. The Blazers will hope they can extract some of the value everyone saw in him three years ago, when he was an athletic 3-and-D wing with a 7-foot wingspan.

Whether by effort or injury (he has experienced a series of foot, ankle and knee injuries in his seven-year career), Bazemore’s production dipped this season on a Hawks team that won 29 games. His 3-point percentage dipped from a career-high 39.4 percent on more than four attempts per game in 2017-18 to 32 percent this past season, and he lost his starting job to the youth movement in early March.

Still, Bazemore turns 30 years old on July 1, and he may be reinvigorated by what will surely be another playoff chase in Portland. The Blazers have long been in need of wing depth around star guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, and they may be even more so with Rodney Hood expected to command offers in free agency.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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