Weeks before free agency, several organizations explored Batum’s availability, including Dallas and New York. The Mavericks were anticipating the departure of Chandler Parsons, and the Knicks envisioned pairing Batum with Joakim Noah as free-agent additions to the starting lineup.
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“There were options with other teams and different scenarios. But I tried to look at what suited me best, and look at this franchise long term. Having Kemba under contract, having MKG under contract, having Frank [Kaminsky] under contract, having Coach Clifford under contract, we have the same core. “Me personally, I won’t change my game. I got paid because I play a certain way, and especially with this team.”
Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has re-signed guard/forward Nicolas Batum to a multi-year deal. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “Ensuring that Nic remained in Charlotte was a top priority for us this offseason and we are thrilled that he has re-signed with us,” Cho said. “Nic brings versatility, skill and playmaking to our roster that complements all of our players and played a significant role in our playoff berth in 2015-16. We are excited to continue to build on what we’ve accomplished with Nic as a Hornet.”
Shams Charania: Nicolas Batum holds a player option in the fifth season of his new Hornets deal, sources tell The Vertical. $120M.
Mike Richman: Nic Batum’s contract way under his full max of ~$152/5years.
Shams Charania: Free agent Nicolas Batum has reached agreement with Charlotte on a five-year, $120 million deal, league sources tell The Vertical.
Rick Bonnell: EXCLUSIVE Nic Batum Is coming back to the @Charlotte Hornets, Five years, $120 million, the @observer has learned.
Mike Bresnahan: Put Nicolas Batum at or near the top of the Lakers’ list. Versatile SF played for Charlotte last season after seven years in Portland. Batum is a small forward and the Lakers obviously drafted one in Ingram, but they think Batum can also play shooting guard if need be.
With Parsons likely gone, the source said the Mavs will meet with Charlotte Hornets small forward Nicolas Batum during free agency, which starts Thursday at 11:01 p.m. CDT.
Tim MacMahon: Source tells @Marc J. Spears that Nicolas Batum will meet with Hornets and Mavs in Dallas and will talk to Knicks, Lakers, Wizards on phone.
Charlotte Hornets small forward Nicolas Batum is expected to meet with the Dallas Mavericks in free agency, a league source told ESPN. The Mavs are exploring options to replace small forward Chandler Parsons, who sources say is expected to leave in free agency with Dallas declining to offer him a maximum contract and prioritizing other targets.
Brad Turner: Free agent small forward Nicolas Batum mulling over options, including talking with Lakers, source. He’s flying from Paris to US tomorrow.
Chris Broussard: I’m told that besides KD, Lakers’ wish list includes Whiteside, Al Horford, Nic Batum, Harrison Barnes & Ryan Anderson
Who else might they target? Everyone has suggested Nic Batum. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and throw a max deal at Chandler Parsons. But in the end, they’ll likely have to spend wisely on cheaper pieces, players like J.R. Smith, Kent Bazemore, Allen Crabbe, Luol Deng, Eric Gordon, E’Twaun Moore, Jared Dudley, Joe Johnson, Lance Thomas and Wesley Johnson.
Free agents Nicolas Batum and Evan Turner are among the players being considered at small forward, per sources, if the Warriors don’t get Kevin Durant. Which means the Warriors will be taking a long, hard look at if they can do better than Harrison Barnes.
Cho reiterated what he said shortly after the season , that re-signing small forward Nic Batum tops the list of priorities. “We hope to meet with him as soon as free agency starts,” Cho said. “Our goal is to get something done with him.”
The one possible scenario in which Barnes leaves, the source said, would be if he approached the Warriors front office with a request to be elsewhere. If Barnes determines he would like to have a chance to be a more featured part of an offense, the Warriors would likely honor that — especially if a sign-and-trade deal could be worked out. A deal involving fellow free agent Nicolas Batum of the Hornets (Barnes played college basketball at North Carolina) has been rumored, but of course nothing along those lines has actually been discussed.
Batum’s agent had previously indicated that his client, a free agent who just had a terrific first season with the Charlotte Hornets, would be in the United States resolving his NBA future and that the paperwork would not be finalized in time for him to play. However, it is understood that the French player and the Hornets will quickly agree terms on a new deal and that could could give France enough time to obtain insurance for Batum and allow him to take part in some of the OQT games.
Mike Conley has come up and would be a considerable upgrade over the declining Tony Parker, but to ink him would require clearing out some salary cap space, and then convincing Conley to leave Memphis (not that easy, he likes it there). Expect Al Horford and every major free agent not named Dwight Howard to be linked to the Spurs. Nicolas Batum would be a great fit, but the buzz is he likely stays put in Charlotte.
why wouldn’t he meet with other teams? I can imagine a lot of teams will be interested. Steve Kyler: Was told his camp knows Knicks and Raptors would offer max deal. Knows whats out there wants to stay in Charlotte.
Rich Cho on how big a piece Nicolas Batum is to the team: “Nic [Batum] is a huge piece. He is our number one offseason priority. He knows that. I told him that in our exit interviews. We love having him here and he did a great job this year. He had a few injuries, but overall he did a great job on both ends of the floor. [He was] also great in the locker room and I think Nic wants to be here as well.”
Rich Cho on if he feels they will be able to re-sign Nicolas Batum: “Yeah, I hope so. You never know in free agency, but he is a priority for us and we hope to get something done with him. I hope he is here for many years to come.”
Rich Cho on if it sounds like Nicolas Batum wants to be back in Charlotte after his exit interview: “He definitely wants to be here. I think he likes the city. He’s grown to like the city. As you know, he just had a child and his family like it here. He loves the coaching staff. He loves his teammates and I think he likes his GM. He wants to be here, we want him here and he’s a big priority for us.”
Rick Bonnell: “Nic is our No. 1 priority. We told him that in our exit interviews.” — Cho.
Coach Steve Clifford said Monday he’d prefer to coach the same group again, but acknowledged it might be difficult to re-sign everyone given the NBA salary cap. Much of the Hornets future could be predicated on what happens with unrestricted free agent Nicolas Batum, whom Clifford acknowledged will be the team’s No. 1 priority in free agency. Batum averaged a career-high 14.9 points along with 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for the Hornets during the regular season, although his production was limited in the postseason due to a foot injury. The Hornets lost in seven games to the Miami Heat on Sunday.
When asked if he wants to return next year, Batum said, “Why not?,” saying this past season was one of the most enjoyable of his eight-year NBA career. He liked the freedom Clifford gave him and the idea of being one of first two options on offense.
“I want to talk to (the Hornets) first, for sure. July 1 will be a crazy day, but will Charlotte be my first call? Yes,” Nicolas Batum said of free agency. However, Batum indicated he only wants to return if the Hornets make an effort to bring back the nucleus of this year’s team. He said the chemistry of this year’s Hornets team was outstanding, on and off the court.
“When I came here they let me know they wanted me to be one of the (top) two options with Kemba” Walker, Batum said. “I liked that. I like that they trusted me. “It was a pretty cool year. First time I got to play like I want to in eight years in the NBA.” What is so appealing about this situation? “I think it’s a little bit of everything – the coaching staff, the organization, the city and the players, too,” Batum said.
Orazio Cauchi: Nic Batum to @Emiliano Carchia: ‘I’ll do everything to play in Pre-Olympic tournament but it’s a tricky situation with playoffs and free-agency’
John Canzano: Portland fans may disagree but NBA GM tells me @Nicolas Batum (salary: $11.86m) will command in the $15m-17m annually range this summer.
His free-agency will coincide with a major spike in the salary cap, reflective of lucrative new national television deals. Must be on his mind, right? Not really. “I’ve been around teams where people think about their contract and their personal situation. I can’t understand that,” Batum said after practice Thursday. “With this team, we know if we do great as a team, if we all do our jobs, everything will work out.”
With Kobe Bryant retiring at the end of this season, the Lakers will need to find a replacement. In this upcoming free agency, there are limited options at the small forward position as there is a drop off in talent after Durant. With the possibility of Parsons opting out of his contract with the Mavericks, Harrison Barnes (restricted free agent) and Nicolas Batum are two names the Lakers are expected to pursue as well.
Rick Bonnell: I’ve gotten several questions tonight about locking up Batum now. Not an option. Only contract Batum could sign now is an extension of his current deal, which would be far below his market value as a UFA.
Interestingly, Batum says that the exciting part about free agency isn’t the options or the chance to improve his net worth, but how free agency acts as kind of an evaluation tool for your worth in the league. “Free agency is always exciting for an NBA player’s career,” Batum says, “and you can see where you are, and where you stand among the other players. It’s an opportunity to judge yourself against the other players, and what you’re worth in this league.”
When I reported over the summer that Batum and Toronto harbored some mutual interest, Batum emphatically expressed his desire to remain in Charlotte. Still, expect Ujiri to at least sniff around the possibility of slotting Batum into DeRozan’s salary slot. “We want to be the kind of team that can go after anybody,” he said.
NetsDaily: Who do Nets like as FAs? DeRozan, but also Nicolas Batum, Mike Conley Jr, Evan Turner. Don’t be surprised to see J.P. Vaulet in Brooklyn.
Batum pointed to long-term deals with Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb and an extension for Cody Zeller. “They see long-term with guys who can play right now,” Batum said.
“By signing Kemba and MKG to extensions, re-signing the coach, that shows that we’re not just building something for this year and next year,” Batum said. “No, we’re looking long-term with this group of guys. That’s good for the fan base, the players, everybody. You can’t just do something like this for one year. It takes time. It’s a process, but this style of things is good. We’re young, we’re talented, we like the coach. Hopefully we can keep this same group of guys for a couple years.”
Rick Bonnell: Nic Batum said extending coach Steve Clifford’s contract could enhance the @Charlotte Hornets chances of re-signing him over the summer. Batum on Clifford: “He trusts me. He believes in me. So that could be a big factor.” in Batum’s free-agency decision.
Batum is an impending unrestricted free agent on a borderline playoff team, diving into an unprecedented cap frenzy in which two-dozen suitors could offer $20 million per season. Batum’s people have already made noise about how much Batum would like to play in Toronto, a city that appeals to his international roots, per several league sources.
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February 22, 2018 | 3:33 pm EST Update
David Aldridge: Wizards sign veteran guard Ramon Sessions for second tour on a 10-day contract (@Adrian Wojnarowski first); will join team after tonight’s game in Cleveland (8 pm, @NBAonTNT). Should be available for Washington’s game Friday vs. Charlotte.
Ramon Sessions has 10 years of service and will earn $131,562 on his 10-Day Contract in Washington. Sessions is still earning $2.3M from his contract with the Knicks. The Wizards will have a $83,129 cap hit on Sessions and $147K in additional luxury tax penalties. Washington saved $2.4M in tax penalties at the trade deadline when Shelvin Mack and cash ($687,389) were sent to Atlanta. The Wizards current tax bill is $6.7M.
February 22, 2018 | 3:28 pm EST Update
Hours before he’d turn back the clock with a nod to Vince Carter that wound up winning him the Verizon Slam Dunk contest, Donovan Mitchell took another look into the past, thinking back on his earliest NBA memory, the first time the league he’d one day join actually became real to him. “Man, that’s a tough one,” the Utah Jazz rookie told Yahoo Sports during Saturday’s media session. “The first one that comes to mind, I would say, is probably ‘The Decision’, with LeBron.” Makes sense. Mitchell was 13 years old when LeBron James went on ESPN to tell Jim Gray that he’d chosen to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat in free agency. It was a huge deal — “That really changed the league, from that point on,” Mitchell said — that had nearly 10 million sets of eyeballs glued to television sets all over the United States.
“I was there, when he had The Decision,” Mitchell explained. “So that would probably be the biggest one. It was in Greenwich, Conn., and I went to school in Greenwich [at Greenwich Country Day School],” he said. “So, as a big LeBron fan in the sixth grade, I forced my mom to let me go. I wanted him to go to Miami. I wanted him to get his first ring.” Young Donovan was glad to see one of his favorite players chart a course for a more successful future. Not everybody at the Greenwich Boys & Girls Club shared his enthusiasm. “The people there who were Knicks fans … they weren’t too happy about it,” Mitchell said. “I almost got hit in the head with a Snapple bottle because they were just throwing stuff around outside. It was cool. I was just celebrating, so it was pretty cool.”
One popular touchstone for the 19-to-22-year-old cohort? The legendary dunker who inspired Mitchell’s final-round throwdown on Saturday night. “I mean, I was always into the game — I didn’t have TV or cable or Internet, so I didn’t really watch anybody for a while,” said Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, who grew up in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. “But watching Vince Carter in the Dunk Contest, and watching him play, he was my favorite player.” “You know, I watched Vince Carter,” added Murray’s countryman and Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks, from Mississauga, Ontario. “With the lobs, he just had Toronto … everybody was wearing a purple Toronto jersey. He just made me want to play basketball, and want to dunk, and want to be a part of all that.”