At midnight, the second free agency began, the Rockets are not meeting with Mike Conley, Al Horford or Kevin Durant. They are meeting with Kent Bazemore. The same player who told everyone he wasn't taking any meetings until after July 4 — and whose birthday started right at midnight — is in a room with James Harden, Mike D'Antoni and Daryl Morey as I type.
This is fantastic news. Bazemore is young, energetic, has a terrific personality, and, most importantly, is a great defender, a great athlete and has an emerging three-point shot.
Expect a sizable offer. Over 40% of his 3ptA last 2 seasons were from the corner & he made better than 40& of those https://t.co/zP3FiIKRyb— Adam Wexler (@awexlerKPRC) July 1, 2016
Horford is reportedly meeting with the Rockets during normal human hours. Mike Conley is reportedly pondering a Rockets meeting, per Calvin Watkins. But Bazemore is the kind of player the Rockets need to also get around James Harden: someone who is a catalyst for everything a modern, winning NBA team is.
Good luck, team. Bring home the Baze-on.
UPDATE: As soon as I typed that horrible, horrible pun, Zach Lowe tweeted this:
Teams that have inquired with Kent Bazemore's agent since midnight under impression it might take $19M-$20M per year to sign him.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 1, 2016
If that's what it takes to get Kent Bazemore in this environment, that's pretty chilling. But considering the Rockets have $46 million in cap room and they could still pair a max contract with that $19-20 million deal? That could still work. And Bazemore really is a legendary locker room presence at this point — he famously convinced Stephen Curry to sign with Under Armour — so this could be domino one in the package to entice Al Horford. Stay tuned.
UPDATE AT 9:50 A.M.:
Told Rockets’ contingent that met with Bazemore included owner Les Alexander, HOFers Hakeem Olajuwon & Clyde Drexler, and James Harden.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 1, 2016
Chances are, this contingent is in Atlanta anyway to meet with Horford. But, as stated above, a package of Bazemore and Horford would be incredible, considering the Rockets couldn't even get a meeting with Kevin Durant.