Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego addressed the elephant in the room during his end-of-the-season press conference with reporters. Everyone in Charlotte, from fans to the media, wants to know what the franchise is going to do with veteran small forward nicolas batum, who arguably has one of the worst contracts in the NBA.
Batum has $52 million remaining on his contract. He signed a lucrative five-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets in the summer of 2016 and doesn’t produce like a player who is making over $24 million annually.
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer asked Borrego where Batum fits with the team going forward, and the Hornets’ head coach gave a pretty telling response:
“Rick, I don’t really know,” Borrego told Bonnell.
In 75 games this season for the Hornets, Batum averaged 9.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from beyond the arc and 86.5 percent from the free-throw line.
The Hornets missed the playoffs this season. All-Star point guard Kemba Walker becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Batum made twice as much money as Walker this season. Yes, that’s how bad of a contract Batum has.
Batum probably doesn’t have much trade value around the league since his contract is so big. It will be interesting to see what the Hornets do with him.