Nicolas Batum Exercising Player Option

Hornets forward Nicolas Batum plans to exercise his $27.13MM player option for the 2020/21 season and return to Charlotte, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Batum appeared in just 22 games last season and holds career-averages of 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest. The 31-year-old has been with the Hornets since the 2015/16 season, having been acquired in a trade during the summer of 2015. He inked a five-year, $120MM deal with the team in 2016.

Batum’s option decision was one of the most obvious of 2020, as there was no chance of him matching or exceeding his $27MM salary on the open market. He’ll reach free agency in 2021.

Meanwhile, Charlotte has players such as Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez set to enter unrestricted free agency this fall. The team could extend a qualifying offer to guard Dwayne Bacon to make him a restricted free agent.

The Hornets finished with a 23-42 record this past season and last made the playoffs during the 2015/16 campaign.

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