NBA rumors: Warriors, Mavericks were interested in Nicolas Batum

More on Nicolas Batum Free Agency

This situation never happens — never does the start of free agency coincide with the Olympics. To make it even stranger, Japan is 13 hours ahead of the American East Coast. So when free agency began at 6 p.m. Monday in the States, it was 7 a.m. Tuesday in Japan. Teams cannot talk to players before then, but preliminary discussions with player agents dominate the hours (and days) leading up to the official start of free agency. “This morning I woke up at 3:30, I called my agent, like, ‘You gotta get a deal done right now so I can move on from it,’” Batum said.
As for Batum, 32, he always wanted to rejoin the Clippers, because he said they gave him a fresh start on his career last season. “Of course, the last 48 hours, it’s in your head,” Batum said. “Just this morning for one or two hours (I was on the phone) with my agent, ‘Get a deal done. … OK, we’re good?’ Now I am back to the Olympics. That was a crazy day, for sure.”
Ex-Blazer Nicolas Batum is on the Blazers radar, per a source, with Portland projecting to be limited with what it can spend by its $5.3 million mid-level exception.
There is mutual interest between Batum and the Warriors, sources said. He’s currently in Tokyo, competing for France. But there is expected to be contact with his representation early in the free-agency process. Batum, sources said, understands how well he’d fit the Warriors’ system and, as a notable bonus, has an established relationship with new assistant Kenny Atkinson, who coached him last season with the Clippers.
While big-name stars such as Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry will be focusing on their futures, some players are trying to keep their eye on the present. That includes Batum, who doesn't have a contract for next season but insists his only concern is his next game. "It's not easy, I mean, from the outside, but for me it's pretty easy,'' Batum said. "I know where I have to focus on.''
Same with Batum, whom LA Clippers president Lawrence Frank said the team hopes to re-sign. The forward said that is being left to his agent. "I have to make sure my team, myself get ready for the next game because that's a big game and the rest will take of itself,'' said Batum, the French captain.
“We had the common story from last year,” Batum said. “My story is their story. “What happened to them last year is what happened to me last year. I think it’s pretty similar: People are expecting stuff from us and things didn’t work out. So I was like, why not go with that team and make sure we both redeem ourselves?”
Bobby Marks: Monday deadline for player options Anthony Davis: $28.8M DeMar DeRozan: $27.7M Mike Conley Jr. : $34.5M Evan Fournier: $17.0M Robin Lopez : $5.0M Nic Batum: $27.1M Tony Snell: $12.2M Stanley Johnson: $3.8M Wesley Matthews : $2.7M My guess is we go 7/9 on opt-in
After this season concludes, Batum will have one more in Charlotte. That assumes Batum picks up the player option (for $27.1 million!) for next season. He said he won’t think about such things until after this season is over, but it would be crazy for him not to take the money. There’s also a possibility that next season in February, when Batum’s deal is only a couple of months from expiring, he might negotiate a buyout with the Hornets, get waived and join another team. That’s what Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist did last month.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
"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.
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.
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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Rick Carlisle on Pacers veterans: They were disappointed with how things have gone

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