SACRAMENTO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors have made another move in hopes of finding a reliable backup to point guard Stephen Curry.
The Warriors acquired Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers for reserve guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks on Wednesday night, adding a veteran ball-handler to their beleaguered bench.
Word of the deal started to spread just before the Warriors played in Sacramento and the Lakers hosted Houston. Blake reportedly told his teammates and coaches goodbye in the locker room before the game in Los Angeles.
“The acquisition of Steve Blake will provide us with additional veteran depth at point guard as we enter the stretch run of the season,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a statement. “He’s had a productive career and is a player who can both run an offense and has the ability to shoot the basketball. On the other hand, we thank Kent and MarShon for their contributions to our team both on and off the court and wish them success as they enter the next stage of their careers.”
The trade gives Golden State a savvy veteran off the bench without sacrificing any of its core players or moving into the league’s luxury tax.
Blake, who is making $4 million in the final year of his contract, averaged 9.5 points and 7.6 assists while starting all 27 games he played for the injury-depleted Lakers this season. The Warriors are counting on the 33-year-old veteran to bolster a bench that has been searching for a proven ball-handler since Jarrett Jack left for Cleveland in free agency last summer.
The Warriors acquired Jordan Crawford and Brooks from Boston in a three-team trade on Jan. 15. Golden State sent struggling backup Toney Douglas to Miami in that deal.
Crawford has been, at times, a prolific scorer but is still learning how to be a better distributor and playmaker on a Warriors team that has plenty of shooters. He entered Wednesday averaging 6.3 points and 2.2 assists in his first 13 games with the Warriors after starting for the Celtics while Rajon Rondo was injured.
Brooks appeared in just seven games with the Warriors and never caught on in Mark Jackson’s rotation. Bazemore, best known for his animated cheering on Golden State’s bench, also struggled in limited action the past two seasons.
Both had split time with the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, but should get more of an opportunity with the rebuilding Lakers.
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