The objective seemed clear for a franchise fixated on star power.

With a roster featuring an aging Kobe Bryant and a cast of role players on expiring contracts, the Lakers had spent previous summers setting aside every penny available for a marquee free agent. That strategy backfired in 2014 as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol all rejected the Lakers’ free-agent pitches. The implications did not stop there, though.

Atlanta Hawks forward Kent Bazemore rejected the Lakers’ four-year, $72 million offer last summer before re-signing with Atlanta on a four-year, $70 million deal. After joking he made the move to save on taxes, Bazemore acknowledged his decision partly stemmed from the Lakers declining a $1.1 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent in 2014. After striking out on James, Anthony and Gasol, the Lakers also narrowed in on Jeremy Lin, Nick Young and Jordan Hill before pursuing Bazemore. He agreed to a two-year deal worth $6 million with Atlanta shortly afterward.

“One thing you want in this league is to be wanted. They didn’t pick it up for that little amount of money,” Bazemore said. “So that showed how much they believed in me and my abilities. That closed that chapter.”

The Lakers still found a proven veteran by acquiring forward Luol Deng last summer at the same price, but the 27-year-old Bazemore is seen as a rising prospect after averaging 11.6 points and 5.1 rebound and shooting 44.1 percent last season.