The Blazers are over the salary cap even more now and are in a position this summer where they could lose some key players from their playoff run. Enes Kanter, Seth Curry and Rodney Hood are all unrestricted free agents hitting the market with no Bird rights attached to them.
Adrian Wojnarowski said that Hood’s value is expected to be over the MLE the Blazers have. So adding Bazemore is an insurance policy for them in case Hood and Curry leave. This team does not have a ton of money to spend, so it wouldn’t be able to go out and sign a guy in free agency like Bazemore to replace them.
Both Hood and Curry were very valuable as backup guards and Bazemore will probably be asked to help fill both voids. Last year’s first round pick, Anfernee Simons will also be asked to step up, and those two players will likely play a lot together this upcoming year.
Bazemore will also have to play some small forward for the team since Turner used to do that. Head coach Terry Stotts likes to use Harkless at power forward, and if Al-Farouq Aminu leaves this summer then Portland will be forced to play Harkless at power forward more and Bazemore at small forward. Regardless of how the roster looks at the start of the season, it’s nice to have a player with Bazemore’s skill and physical ability on the team.