Nicolas Batum Signing with Clippers After Being Released by Charlotte

Nicolas Batum with France's national team. Photo by Shutterstock (10414075e)

Nicolas Batum won’t stick around on the free-agent market for too long after being released by the Charlotte Hornets late last week. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Batum agreed to sign a deal with the LA Clippers for the 2020/21 NBA season.

Hornets released Batum with a “waive and stretch” provision in order to free up the salary cap for the signing of Gordon Hayward. The 31-year-old Batum played 22 games for Charlotte last season, averaging career-low 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game.

Despite his NBA career being on the downward trajectory in recent years, Nicolas Batum might turn out to be a good pickup for the Clippers. The French forward provides length and versatility on the wing while boosting a respectable 35.7 career-percentage from the three-point arc.

Clippers will most likely give Batum a veteran’s minimum deal, so there is no big risk for them involved. If he managed to provide them with meaningful minutes from the bench at either side of the ball, the gamble would prove to be worth it. If not, they can simply release him without suffering significant consequences.

Batum was drafted 25th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by Houston Rockets but got traded to the Portland Trail Blazers on the draft night. He spent seven seasons in Portland before being sent to Charlotte in 2015. He signed a five-year, $120 million contract next season, which later proved to be one of the worst business moves in the history of the franchise due to his decline in production and injuries.

Batum’s NBA career averages include 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game.