Rumor: 3 teams trying to steal Nicolas Batum away from Clippers
Veteran forward Nicolas Batum looked rejuvenated playing for the Los Angeles Clippers this past season after a rough stretch with the Charlotte Hornets. The Clippers are hoping to re-sign Batum, but they’re going to have to beat out other suitors to do it. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reports the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers as interested teams.
In 2019-20 with the Hornets, Batum averaged just 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 34.6% from the field and 28.6% from 3-point land. But in 2020-21 with the Clippers, he averaged 8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 46.4% overall and 40.4% from 3-point range. That 3-point percentage sits at No. 2 for him in his career.
So, clearly, Batum still has something left in the tank. He’s still just 32 years old, and he can clearly help the Clippers or any of these other teams next season.
The Heat are trying to improve their roster around Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. They’re right in the thick of the Kyle Lowry chase, with many believing they’re the favorite to get him. Adding Batum as another veteran to that mix would be nice.
The Warriors didn’t make a big splash trade with their draft picks, and they desperately need more veteran help around their stars. Batum’s shooting and passing would be ideal in Steve Kerr’s system.
The Pacers are trying to bounce back under new head coach Rick Carlisle, so adding a quality veteran for depth makes sense.