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Hornets waiving and stretching Nicolas Batum after failing to find a trade

Nicolas Batum, Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets will waive Nicolas Batum, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, the Hornets will use the stretch provision on the veteran forward.

Charlotte had been trying to trade Nicolas Batum, but evidently failed to find a partner to take on his contract. The Hornets reportedly hoped to include Batum in a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics involving Hayward, but were unable to reach an agreement with Danny Ainge.

Nicolas Batum is owed $27 million in 2020-21, which will be stretched, resulting in a $9 million dead-money cap hit for the Hornets for the next three years. He signed a five-year, $120 million contract in the summer of 2015.

The franchise is looking to clear cap room after signing Gordon Hayward to a four year, $120 million deal earlier in free agency. Waiving Nicolas Batum will open up about $18 million in cap space, giving the organization about $19 million in overall space.

Nicolas Batum, who will turn 32 in December, will now become an unrestricted free agent, and will surely generate considerable interest around the league, likely from contenders looking for a cheap veteran.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged as a possible landing spot for Nicolas Batum once he clears waivers.

The Frenchman has struggled with injuries the past two seasons, and played just 22 games in 2019-20. He fell out of the rotation, averaging just 3.6 PPG on 34.6% shooting last season. However, Nicolas Batum remains a versatile and capable 3-and-D wing, especially if he can find his shot again.

Overall, Batum averaged 12.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game in five seasons in Charlotte. He’s a 35.7% three-point shooter for his career.

Nicolas Batum spent his first seven seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He will now try to make a new start with a new team.

UPDATE: The Clippers and Batum are going to agree to a deal: