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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38 thoughts on “Nicolas Batum Exercising Player Option

  1. acarneglia

    The real worst contract in the NBA. I’d rather pay a still productive CP3 or Westbrook 40+ than Batum’s corpse 27

    • Curtisrowe

      I would rather have Batums corpse on my bench for one year at 27M than owe John Wall 132 million dollars.

      • Count that baby and a foul!

        Really? John Wall returning to all star form is highly possible.

        • Really? The best thing about John Wall WAS his speed. His shooting is suspect. He’s had leg injuries so the speed will slow down and the shooting is not there, so yeah.., I’d rather have Batum on one year then John Wall at 132 million.

          • hiflew

            At the very least, John Wall deserves a chance to be on the court following his injury before everyone writes the epitaph to his career. People have written him off based only on what they think might happen, not how the man actually performs. That’s just an unfair assessment.

            • Of course he deserves a chance to come back. He’s been working hard and I think he’s ready to go. I’m just saying that’s a lot of coin for a guy who’s 30 and relied on his speed. 3 years ago he got outshined by Isaiah Thomas in Game 7 with all the chips on the line, so that shows a lot about his skill in crunch time.

              But yes he’s worked hard he’ll be back on the floor and he’ll be fine. But I’m glad he’s on their team and not my team LOL.

              • hiflew

                It’s really just the nature of the beast. Players routinely outperform their rookie deals and tend to underperform their late career deals. In my opinion, John Wall has already done enough in a Wizards uniform to basically earn the rest of his contract whether he plays well or not.

                Plus, the Warriors kind of have a similar situation with Klay Thompson. I know they are not exactly the same type of player, but he is due around $55 million more than John Wall and no one really knows how his game will be affected by missing a season either.

                • Yes you’re right, I guess it just comes down to the fact that I don’t like John Wall’s game. I don’t think he’s clutch, I don’t think he can shoot the ball, and I don’t think he’s a winner. I’ve been taken back by some of the things he said and not backed up with play on the floor. Sure he’s had great stats the first part of his career but in my opinion hes3 no Klay Thompson. Klay is humble, gets it done, plays Supreme defense, and hits the big shots.

                  All I’ve heard John Wall say is, “I’m a max player.” All I’ve heard about Klay Thompson is, “we’re giving him the max.”

                  • hiflew

                    Fair point. Wall does have the “me first” personality. But in fairness to him, people were telling him he was going to be the next big thing from the time he was 13 years old. He was the biggest HS player that everyone fawned over other than LeBron this entire century. It might not be well-liked, but at the very least it should be understandable that the hype went to his head. Klay was a decent prospect, but he was never hyped really at all. It’s far more likely for a mid first rounder to be more humble than a guy everyone knew would be the first pick in his draft for well over 3 years.

                    • Oh yeah I’m not saying I don’t like the guy as a person. I think he’s probably fantastic and generous with his money and gives back and all that. We’re talking strictly his game on the floor. But oh yeah some of these guys have been the Messiah since they were kids and showed physical gifts. I hear you brother.

                  • hiflew

                    As far as being a winner goes. He took some truly horrible Wizards teams to the playoffs. Bradley Beal gets all kinds of credit now for being great, but for the first few years of his career, he was looked at as somewhat of a bust. Otto Porter is probably the next best teammate Wall has ever had. That should say something right there. If you trade Wall for any PG in the NBA, they very likely would not much better with those Wizards teams.

      • mike.honcho

        Indeed, Wall’s contract is that bad ……. it’s untradeable.

        Now, even if Wall regains some of his old form – the WIZARDS very best case scenario would be a low playoff seed in the East.

        • hiflew

          There is no such thing as an untradable contract. There are contracts that might have to have something attached to them to be desired, but nothing is untradable. Westbrook and CP3 were thought to be untradable, but they were traded last year. True it was for each other, but they were still moved. If Washington really does want to trade Wall, which I doubt anyway, there will be another huge contract (Blake Griffin? Westbrook? Tobias Harris?) that can be dealt for him. In fact, Westbrook and Wall’s contracts are virtually identical.

          • Appalachian_Outlaw

            Absolutely, there are no unmoveable contracts. If Washington dealt Wall to a rebuilding club along with 5 future 1st round picks, someone would take it. What you have to weigh is does it make sense to pay the freight to move it.

    • hiflew

      The real worst contract is Damian Lillard. He is a great player, but his contract is $60 million more guaranteed dollars than ANYONE else. He is great, but he isn’t that much better than the field. A lot of that has to do with him being the only player under contract through the 2024-25 season, but as of right now he will be the highest paid player in 22-23 and 23-24 as well. Everyone is talking about Westbrook being old and overpaid at 32, but Lillard’s deal pays him over $50 million when he is 33 and over $54 million when he is 34.

      • Okay but with Damian Lillard you have to take into account its Portland. They’re NEVER going to attract the star free agent, they have to go above and beyond reasonable measures to keep the star they DO have, and they’ve been knocking on the door the last few years. The Blazers are right there. They just need a stud on the wing. They have the guards and they have the big men.

        But yes in terms of numbers Lillard’s contract is astronomical, but remember it’s Portland. What else can they do?

        • hiflew

          There was a time when never attracting a free agent was said about Golden State as well. Most of the time prior to Curry/Klay arriving.

          Besides Portland has always been more about building from within and supplementing with cheap free agents. Even during Clyde the Glide’s run back before players started colluding to just play in warm weather cities, they didn’t sign many big free agents. It may have something to do with the market size, but I think it is more of a team culture as well.

    • You can. What’s stopping you? Are you saying you haven’t done anything in the last couple years to make that scenario happen?

      Get busy brother, make your way, get to work, it’s not going to fall in your lap watching Netflix.

      You want someone to pick up a 1 mil option on you? Happens all the time. I was just talking to a friend yesterday who’s going to sell his business in a couple of years for 25 million dollars. He’s a regular guy like you and like me.

      • brownscavsr4me

        I hope you’re joking bro, because he obviously was. He prob works hard like a lot of ppl, but oh now you tell him to work harder thats gonna change his life? Keep comments about sports, for everyones sake

        • Wow. Beaten down for offering encouragement to a young man who “wishes” he could get a million-dollar contract. Maybe I should have left him alone in his wishing and hoping. Point taken.

        • brownscavsr4me@, yup that was a huge mistake by me suggesting someone work harder and improve their life. You’re right about that. Thanks.

          • brownscavsr4me

            How do you know he’s a young man that needs monetary advice? How do you know he isn’t already working really hard or improving their life? Unwarranted advice sometimes comes off as a little rude ya know? A lot of people including myself work our butt off and im definitely not sitting around watching netflix all day, nor do most of us don’t have a business to sell like your friend. Your advise was kinda obvious and sorta pointless. But I do understand your good intent though after rereading it and my previous comment did sound much harsher than I meant it too and I do apologize for that.

            • Apology accepted and as I mentioned above, point taken that I should not be giving personal advice on a sports site. All good brother.

              But also asking for leniency because it’s in my nature to encourage people to be better than where they’re at. Not sure why I do that. I’ll keep an eye on it and I appreciate your making me aware of that.

              • brownscavsr4me

                Absolutely, sometimes these messages are so hard to read cause there is no human aspect other than words. I took it as condescending over the phone, but if we were in person im sure i would have understood and appreciated your intent immediately. Appreciate you accepting my apology

        • brownscavsr4me@, and no I’m not joking. Isn’t that what sports is all about anyway… working hard and improving your lot in life? I’ll take any opportunity I can, even here to your dismay, to encourage someone to get off the couch. And if that person is already working hard and not sitting on the couch, then he’s doing just fine.

  2. mike.honcho

    You know things are going really bad, when the guy had to apologize to the fans for being a disappointment, given his massive contract.

    It will be over soon.

  3. El Don

    Y’all know that Optimus dime is one of only 6 players in the history of the league to be above 9APG… the guy is a flipping machine! He will come back & shut mouths!

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      This is accurate. Great players rarely make great coaches or executives though because the game comes more easily to them. They view it through a different scope.

      • Dunkinstompin

        Yet he had the nerve to hate on Jerry Krause who assembled one best all time basketball dynasty!

      • hiflew

        I disagree with that. Jerry West is one of the greatest players of all time and arguably THE greatest GM of all time. Joe Dumars also did pretty well for himself in the front office. Larry Bird was somewhat successful. The problem is that guys like Jordan and Isiah Thomas are so well known that their failures are magnified far more than Joe Blow that never played the game.

  4. Charlotte has got to be the biggest joke of a franchise at this point, right? At least the Knicks are trying to improve.

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