Former ODU star Kent Bazemore a top money earner with Atlanta Hawks

Fred Jeter | 10/25/2018, 6 a.m.
The list of the NBA’s highest paid players includes many known marquee players — LeBron James, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, ...

Kent Bazemore

Kent Bazemore

Multimillionaires Club

Here’s the top salary on each NBA team:

Atlanta: Kent Bazemore, $18 million

Boston: Gordon Hayward, $31.2 million

Brooklyn: Allen Crabbe, $18.5 million

New York Knicks: Enes Kanter, $18.6 million

Philadelphia: Joel Imbiid, $25.4 million

Toronto: Kawhi Leonard, $23.1 million

Chicago: Jabari Parker, $20 million

Cleveland: Kevin Love, $24.1 million

Detroit: Blake Griffin, $32 million

Indianapolis: Victor Oladipo, $21 million

Milwaukee: Giannis Antetokounmpo, $23.1 million

Charlotte: Nicolas Batum, $24 million

Miami: Hassan Whiteside, $25.4 million

Orlando: Aaron Gordon, $21.5 million

Washington: Otto Porter, $26 million

Golden State: Steph Curry, $37.4 million

Los Angeles Clippers: Danilo Gallinari, $21.5 million

Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James, $35.6 million

Phoenix: Ryan Anderson, $20.4 million

Sacramento: Zach Robinson, $11.6 million

Dallas: Harrison Barnes, $24.1 million

Houston: James Harden, $35.6 million

Memphis: Mike Conley, $30.5 million

New Orleans: Jrue Holiday, $25.9 million

San Antonio: DeMar DeRozan, $27.7 million

Denver: Paul Millsap, $29.2 million

Miami: Andrew Wiggins, $25.4 million

Oklahoma City: Russell Westbrook, $35.6 million

Portland: Damian Lillard, $27.9 million

Utah: Rudy Gobert, $23.2 million

The list of the NBA’s highest paid players includes many known marquee players — LeBron James, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and others.

Also on that list is a bit of a surprise.  

Lesser known — at least outside Virginia and his native North Carolina — is Kent Bazemore. The former Old Dominion University star is a top money earner among the Atlanta Hawks players, with a salary of $18,089,887 for the upcoming season.

The 6-foot-5 guard known as “3 and D” — for his ability to shoot 3-pointers and play defense — is in the third year of a four-year pact that expands to more than $19 million next season.

An article in Peachtree Hoops refers to Bazemore as “the best player (in the NBA) that nobody talks about.”

The 29-year-old originally from rural Kelford, N.C., population 251 as of 2010, is about as close to a “rags to riches” story as you’ll find. The left-hander wasn’t even drafted coming out of ODU in 2012 and appeared to be a journeyman, at best, until landing in Atlanta and finding his groove.

Much of his first two pro seasons were spent shuffling back and forth between the Golden State Warriors and Santa Cruz (Calif.) of the Developmental League.

He spent part of 2013-14 with the Los Angeles Lakers before suffering a foot injury and being waived.

In Atlanta, his status has rocketed. He has become a top-dollar performer, albeit minus — as of yet — any All-Star credentials.

What Bazemore does is fill up the stat sheet with plus achievements and play shutdown defense against players of virtually any size.

Last season, the former Monarch averaged 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals per game. He hit 39 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 80 percent at the foul line.

Bazemore is well remembered around Richmond, at least among Virginia Commonwealth University fans. ODU traveled to the Siegel Center all four seasons Bazemore played for ODU. Also, all four Colonial Athletic Association tournaments during that span were played at the Richmond Coliseum. ODU won the CAA Tournament in 2010 and 2011 in Downtown with Bazemore a leading light.

He also was All-CAA as a senior while also earning the Lefty Driesell Award as the nation’s top defender. While Bazemore developed into a star at ODU, he wasn’t heavily recruited and was redshirted his freshman year.

Bazemore is a familiar name among Virginia Union University fans as well.

Kent’s younger brother, WyKevin, is a former standout at Winston-Salem State University. He is one of only four players to make All-CIAA four straight years. WyKevin helped Winston-Salem State to win the 2012 CIAA Tournament title.

After playing professionally in Spain, WyKevin Bazemore is now assistant hoops coach at the University of Virginia at Wise.

Kent Bazemore still has a ways to go to become ODU’s all-time NBA performer in terms of service. Mark West out of Petersburg High School played in the NBA from 1983 to 2000, covering 1,090 games. Bazemore is at 417 games, but with plenty of gas left.