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Nicolas Batum plans to sign with Clippers once he clears waivers

Nicolas Batum, Clippers

Shortly after being waived by the Charlotte Hornets, forward Nicolas Batum is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who also reported that the team beat out other contenders to sign the 31-year old forward.

 

The Hornets were expected to waive Batum after agreeing to a massive four-year, $120 million deal with All Star Gordon Hayward. The Clippers now enter this story.

Batum, who grew up in Lisieux, France, was selected in the first round with the 25th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets before being immediately send to the Portland Trail Blazers, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career. In 2015, he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets, and in the following summer signed a five-year, $120 million extension with the team, and is still set to earn $27 million in the 2020-2021 season. The Clippers wanted him.

Despite his lucrative contract, however, the versatile forward’s number declined in recent years, and he averaged just 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and three assists while shooting 34.6% from the field and 28.6% from beyond the arc in 22 games for the Hornets last season. This is a concern for the Clippers, but not enough to prevent the team from wanting to sign him.

Batum is set to become the latest addition to the Clippers, which also added big man Serge Ibaka and shooting guard Luke Kennard as they look to redeem themselves after squandering a 3-1 series lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals in last season’s playoffs.

The Clippers, however, might not be done, with reports also stating that Lou Williams could be on the move as the team looks for a playmaker to add to their lineup alongside All Stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Los Angeles is trying to reshuffle its roster after its bubble playoff failure.