Free. Nicolas batum is finally free. The signature of Gordon Hayward this weekend pushed the Charlotte Hornets to separate from their veteran tricolor by spreading his salary over the next three seasons. Not only the former European champion will indeed receive his 27.1 million dollars but in addition he can now engage with the team of his choice.
Not necessarily in agreement with his coach James Borrego, embarrassed by repeated injuries but also perhaps quite simply not suited to the number and plan of the hornets, “Batman” comes out of two difficult seasons. The last being even the worst of his career: 3.6 points in 22 matches.
But at 31, Nicolas Batum is probably far from finished and he will be able to demonstrate it this season. As the RMC consultant Stephen Brun specified yesterday, Nicolas should soon engage with a franchise candidate for the title. This is what confirmed his agent Jeremy Medjana, whom we contacted this afternoon.
“Six teams have contacted us and have shown an interest in Nico: the Nets, Warriors, Jazz, Clippers, Bucks and Raptors. We should be fixed on his fate very soon.”
It was the best news we could have. These leading franchises would be prime destinations for Nicolas Batum. His qualities at this stage of his career are those of a complement man capable of helping a group in their quest for the title. Because he can defend, cut, create play as a second or third playmaker. And obviously put some long shots. Besides on this subject, his agent was very enthusiastic.
“Nico is in the shape of his life. He’s been working hard with coaches for two months. He lost ten kilos.
In training this morning he put in 98 three-pointers in five minutes, including 53 in a row! “
Jeremy Medjana confirmed to us that they had been negotiating with Charlotte for several days and that they knew that Nicolas had a good chance of being released. He would finally be able to find the paths of the parquet floors.
“We knew it was going to move, so we told him to work hard to get him ready.
We’re super happy for him. He will finally be able to replay and show what he is capable of. You will be surprised, he will break everything! “
Nicolas Batum at a title contender from the start of the week?
6 contenders for Nicolas Batum
Let’s take a closer look at the 6 tracks announced by Nicolas’ agent.
Los Angeles Clippers: to strengthen the bench
Our bet. The Angelenos already have two elite stoppers… who are also the squad’s superstars. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But behind, the rotation on the wings is quite fragile. In the current state, Luke Kennard and Patrick Beverley will come out of the bench with Marcus Morris. It’s light. A Nicolas Batum to bring the binder would therefore be welcome.
The Clippers have been a little behind their main competitors since the start of the Free Agency. They seem to have a hard time convincing players to come, although Serge Ibaka remains a very nice catch. Batum would do them good.
Utah Jazz: to relaunch the “French connection”!
You feel it coming, the “French Connection” with Rudy Gobert ? Quin Snyder and Jazz play a basketball which would fit perfectly with the game of Nicolas Batum. Movement, passing, cuts, hand-to-hand… it is typically in this style that the Frenchman can express his qualities as a talented designer but not as punchy as other rear mounted on springs.
The performance of Joe Ingles (not the same shot, that’s for sure) testify to this. Utah is one of the best defenses in the league thanks in large part to Gobert, but the former Manceau can also play his part in this area. And if in addition he finds the address … it promises.
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Brooklyn Nets: because everything has to be done
OK, Kevin Durant will eat a bunch of minutes on post three … but also as a strong winger. Behind, again, having a bunch of versatile winger is a luxury for any title contender. And even more in Brooklyn.
Because KD hasn’t played for over a year, Amigos! In addition to the uncertainty related to his level (well there, we do not worry too much) or his state of health, he will have to find sensations. Resume gently. Get up to speed but also probably rest to avoid the too intense sequence of meetings, especially in a season of 72 matches in five months. This is where Batum can make an impact. By providing good minutes in sequences of a quarter of an hour or more.
Milwaukee Bucks: to rule the East
One of our favorite choices. Today the Bucks need players with the ball in hand, capable of putting up an open shot or two, who are used to big meetings and able to defend on several different profiles. So, OK, it’s not necessarily Nicolas Batum who comes first for this mission in the NBA.
But it has the potential. The physical assets. Experiences. He still has to put it all together. Especially with a small role, so with less pressure. The Milwaukee bench is quite interesting with DJ Augustin, Torrey Craig, Donte DiVincenzo, Bobby Portis or Bryn Forbes. Why not add Batum? And here is a rotation of ten-eleven players that can really go far in the East.
Toronto Raptors: because they really need it
Not sure that the Raptors are still really contenders for the title and not sure that Batum can really switch them into another category. But the group may lack an experienced veteran, especially on the wings. Then a year in Tampa Bay playing for a good team while collecting 27 plaques, that’s pretty cool.
Golden State Warriors: because they have the rage
Andrew Wiggins, Kent Bazemore, Kelly Oubre Jr… the Warriors have no shortage of talent on the wings. But Nicolas Batum could possibly take an Andre Iguodala role – all things considered – in about fifteen minutes. Even if, with Klay Thompson’s injury, the Dubs are no longer really contenders for the title.
2 bonus destinations where we would have seen Nico Batum as well
Even if they are not part of the 6 franchises announced by Nicolas’s agent, we still wanted to add them.
Los angeles lakers
One does not go without the other. The two LA franchises are fighting a relentless battle over each of the free players in the market. That’s good, Nicolas Batum has a hut in the city of angels. And while the Lakers are already armored with several rookies, one more winger wouldn’t hurt them. Or especially one more defender.
Dennis Schröder, Montrezl Harrell, that’s great. But it does not defend much (on the other hand Marc Gasol, Wesley Matthews, it is solid). It should be understood that this group was first sacred thanks to its defense. Where Danny Green, Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard also contributed to the building. The Lakers are slowly changing their identities, but they’re going to need one more versatile stopper. A role that Batum can assume, even more if he invests in an ambitious team.
The Celtics lost Gordon Hayward but without recovering a counterpart. What if Danny Ainge gave the Hornets a nice thumbs up by signing Nicolas Batum but without having to take charge of his 27 million? The Frenchman does not evolve in the same register as the former All-Star and he will probably not have the same contribution. But a title contender never has too much 3 and D at his disposal.
The Grand LIVE of the Free Agency NBA team by team
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