Nicolas Batum drew interest this summer from several potential suitors, such as Dallas and New York, but he never seriously considered any team besides the Hornets, as Shams Charania of The Vertical details. “There were options with other teams and different scenarios,” Batum said. “But I tried to look at what suited me best, and look at this franchise long term. Having Kemba [Walker] under contract, having [Michael Kidd-Gilchrist] under contract, having Frank [Kaminsky] under contract, having Coach [Steve] Clifford under contract, we have the same core.”
Here’s more from out of the Southeast division:
- The Magic expect to choose the location for their new D-League affiliate within the next month or so, CEO Alex Martins tells Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando hopes to have a D-League affiliate ready to begin play in 2017/18, and the team has narrowed the potential location down to two Florida-based candidates: Kissimmee (Silver Spurs Arena) and Lakeland (Lakeland Center).
- Bobby Marks of The Vertical has the details on Dennis Schroder‘s new deal with the Hawks, who will carry a $15.5MM annual cap hit for the point guard for four years, from 2017/18 through 2020/21. According to Marks (via Twitter), the extension features $2MM per year in unlikely incentives, so the total value could max out at $70MM.
- Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel isn’t sure there’s room in the Heat‘s rotation for Derrick Williams, who joined the team on a one-year, $4.6MM deal in July.
- The Hornets‘ first game of the season showed that new center Roy Hibbert, who signed a one-year deal with the team this summer, can impact games in a way that no Charlotte player could last season, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.