Search Results for: batum

Blazers Notes: Leonard, Batum, Barton

Earlier today, Portland General Manager Neil Olshey disclosed that he plans to move from the free agent market to the trade market as it appears that Roy Hibbert will be staying put in Indiana.  Here's more on the Blazers..

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Batum Wants To Move On From Portland

Despite averaging a career high in points (13.9), rebounds (4.6), blocks (1.0), and steals (1.0) last season, Nicolas Batum has expressed his desire to leave the Trail Blazers. He and his agent, Bouna N'Diaye, met with Portland GM Neil Olshey, scouting director Chad Buchanan, and capologist Joe Cronin on Thursday in an attempt to persuade the team not to match the Timberwolves' offer sheet, writes Chris Haynes of CNNSW

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Blazers Rumors: Batum, Hickson, Coach

In spite of weeks of trade speculation, the Trail Blazers kept both of their lottery picks last night, drafting Damian Lillard sixth overall and Meyers Leonard 11th. If the two newest Blazers sign typical rookie contracts (120% of the scale amount), they'll be on Portland's books for a total of about $5.2MM in 2012/13. Even with those salary commitments, the Blazers figure to have plenty of cap space this offseason to re-sign their own free agents and potentially pursue others. Here's the latest out of Portland on the team's summer plans….

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Blazers Likely To Match Offers For Batum

Nicolas Batum will be a restricted free agent after the season, and his contract status has been the subject of much discussion lately, with the Spurs rumored to be eyeing the 23-year-old. However, it seems the most likely outcome is Batum returning to Portland.

"They're going to match [offers in restricted free agency]," Batum told Chris Haynes of (Twitter link). "They made me understand that… I'm 99% sure they're going to match."

Retaining Batum certainly makes sense for the Trail Blazers. If Jamal Crawford declines his player option, as expected, the team will only have about $30MM in guaranteed money committed to next year's salaries. While president Larry Miller has said he doesn't intend to match a "crazy" bid for Batum, the Blazers have the means to make him a sizable offer.

You can check out our full list of players eligible for restricted free agency right here.

Blazers’ Batum, Smith Discuss Future

Although we've covered a number of reports about Jamal Crawford's potential free agency over the last week or so, Crawford is far from the only Trail Blazer with an uncertain contract situation heading into the summer. Nicolas Batum and Craig Smith are among the other Blazers facing free agency – restricted for Batum and unrestricted for Smith – and both players spoke to Chris Haynes of about their options.

"We'll see what happens in July," Batum said after the Blazers' final home game of the season last night. "That may be my last game in the Rose Garden. I don't really want to think about it."

Batum went on to call Portland "special" and said that he expected to be a Blazer next year unless a better situation came along. Of course, as a restricted free agent, Batum can sign an offer sheet with any team, but the Blazers will have the option and the means to match it.

Smith, meanwhile, expressed frustration with his role in Portland. Although he performed well with increased minutes in January, Smith hasn't seen much action in recent weeks, playing in just four games since March 22nd.

"Yeah, it's frustrating. It's real frustrating just to see it unfold how it did," Smith said. "I don't think I got a fair shot. To see the situation end how it did, it's tough."

While Smith said that he'd love to return to the Blazers, he stressed that when he fields offers in free agency this summer, he'll seek a team that is honest with him and can assign him a specified role.

Blazers Notes: Mills, Batum, Felton

The Trail Blazers were one of Thursday's most active teams, sending out Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace in separate deals, then parting ways with Chris Johnson and former number one pick Greg Oden to clear space for the new acquisitions. Oh, and the team fired its coach too, with assistant coach Kaleb Canales taking over for Nate McMillan. What's next for the Blazers? Let's have a look….

  • Patrick Mills, who played in China this season, is a restricted free agent and could be brought on board for the rest of the season. However, acting GM Chris Buchanan indicated the team isn't looking at bringing anyone on board at the moment: "We're at 12 healthy bodies. It's an opportunity for guys to get some more minutes. At this point I wouldn't anticipate us adding another player" (link via Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge).
  • Asked specifically about Mills, Buchanan said the team would take to his representatives in the coming days, and would consider all its options, including renouncing Mills' rights. Renouncing his rights would allow Mills to become an unrestricted free agent and sign anywhere.
  • Nicolas Batum, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, will "definitely" be a Blazer next year, tweets Chris Haynes of However, it'll cost the team more than what Batum's agent was asking for in January.
  • After shopping Raymond Felton aggressively yesterday, Buchanan says a buyout for the point guard "is not an option," according to Haynes.

Amick On Jennings, Bogut, Batum, Rockets

Sam Amick of has a few updates on this week's trade candidates, so let's dive in….

  • Brandon Jennings could be had "for the right price." Long considered a franchise cornerstone, Jennings irked some Bucks officials with his comments last month about exploring free agency.
  • Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle hears from Warriors sources that reports of Golden State's interest in Andrew Bogut are "nothing more than hype." However, sources tell Amick that the team's interest is real. The Wizards also inquired on Bogut, but talks went nowhere, says Amick. The Rockets aren't thought to be involved on the Bucks' center.
  • Amick goes on to say that the Bucks feel this may not be the best time to get full value for Bogut, considering he's still on the shelf for a few weeks with a fractured ankle.
  • The Blazers may be active this week, but they don't intend to move Nicolas Batum, who they are determined to keep long-term.
  • Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Jonny Flynn, and Terrence Williams are among the Rockets who would "likely welcome a trade," according to Amick. Goran Dragic is also a trade candidate, since he's not expected to be re-signed this summer. Though I'd imagine Houston will be more inclined to keep Dragic with Kyle Lowry's return date up in the air.

Northwest Links: Sloan, Rubio, Batum

Another element in the dustup between Karl Malone and the Jazz about the end of Jerry Sloan's lengthy tenure as head coach last year came into play today. Utah-area media outlets apparently weren't privy to a team statement that made its way to national writers, according to Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune. (Twitter link)

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweeted the statement, which contained Sloan's denial that he was forced out, in piecemeal fashion this afternoon. Smith then passed it along as part of a larger piece on the saga.

Scott Howard-Cooper of tweets that amidst all the back-and-forth, Sloan would listen if another team becomes interested in hiring him.

Elsewhere in the Northwest Division:

  • Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post offers an appreciation of durable Nuggets guard Andre Miller, who recently passed the 1,000-games-played mark:
  • The Salt Lake Tribune's Jazz beat reporters spoke with Earl Watson about the advanced treatment he received on his sprained ankle.
  • Jake Appleman of The New York Times looks at how Ricky Rubio is helping turn around the Timberwolves.
  • Nicolas Batum, who will be a restricted free-agent this summer, will have a chance to show off his versatility against the Nuggets tonight. His agent, Bouna Ndiaye, has suggested he will look at other teams before negotiating again with the Blazers after the two sides failed to agree on an extension last month.


Southeast Notes: Young, Heat, Batum, Fournier

Hawks star Trae Young overcame several non-believers in his path to the NBA, proving doubters wrong while using their comments as motivation, Sam Amick of The Athletic writes. 

Young, 21, has quickly turned into one of the league’s most electric point guards. He’s averaged 26.6 points and 8.8 assists in 11 games for the Hawks this season, having being drafted fifth overall in 2018. The memories of his doubters still remain firmly in his mind.

“Yeah, it’s little stuff like that,” Young said. “I have pictures and stuff like that. Old tweets. Old different sayings and quotes from people who said things when I was coming into the draft, coming into college too. It’s stuff I just keep it in my mind. Some of it is mental notes, but at the same time some of it is stuff that I keep and I have my eye on. …But I think that type of stuff motivates you.”

Young, according to Amick, has a second phone filled with screenshots of those who doubted him. The phone itself isn’t attached to an actual line, but it’s something he’ll always have for motivation during his career.

“I’ve probably changed my phone twice, but I still have that same phone with all my pictures and all that stuff,” he said. “I’ll always have that phone, until I’m retired. And then, when I’m retired, I’ll go to the ocean somewhere and throw it in the water.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel examines whether the Heat have reached their development quota. Miami has several intriguing young players on its roster this season, including Justise Winslow, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn.
  • Hornets forward Nicolas Batum returned on Saturday against the Knicks after missing nearly four weeks with a fractured left middle finger. Batum, 30, finished with three points, nine rebounds and six assists in 29 minutes of work, registering a positive-18 net rating.
  • Evan Fournier‘s renewed rhythm is leading the Magic to offensive improvement, writes John Denton of Orlando has won two straight games after a poor start to the season, though the team has yet to win a game on the road (0-4). Fournier has averaged 16.2 points per game on 48% shooting from the field and 43% shooting from 3-point range.

Hornets Notes: Batum, Walker, Offseason Plans

Hornets coach James Borrego isn’t sure how Nicolas Batum fits into his plans for next season, Borrego admits to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Batum was placed in a variety of roles but had another disappointing season and was briefly benched by Borrego. The team’s highest-paid player has two years and $52.5MM remaining on his contract, making him virtually untradeable unless Charlotte sweetens the pot with a first-round pick or young player. Bonnell suggests making Batum a utility player where he sees minutes at shooting guard, small forward and power forward.

We have more on the Hornets:

  • Unrestricted free agent Kemba Walker was unhappy that an attempt to acquire veteran center Marc Gasol from Memphis before the February trade deadline fell through, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (hat tip to NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman). The outline of the proposed deal would have sent out center Bismack Biyombo, forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and a protected first-round pick for Gasol. Memphis instead chose to make a deal with playoff-bound Toronto.
  • If Walker re-signs with the club, Jeremy Lamb will likely be a cap casualty, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks points out in his offseason preview. Getting a commitment from Walker would push Charlotte past the luxury tax threshold. Re-signing Lamb for a conservative estimate of $11MM in the first year would trigger an approximate $27.5MM in additional luxury tax penalties. The team also has to make some hard decisions on non-guaranteed contracts, including Tony Parker‘s deal. The Hornets are unlikely to give forward Frank Kaminsky a $4.5MM qualifying offer before the June 30 deadline, Marks adds.
  • Walker’s chances of returning are pegged at 30% by Bonnell in his player-by-player breakdown of the roster. Those odds will rise only if GM Mitch Kupchak can pull off a blockbuster deal before free agency to entice Walker to stay.

Hornets Notes: Lamb, Kaminsky, Parker, Batum

Jeremy Lamb might be the Hornets’ starter at shooting guard, but he could also be entering his final season with the team, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer in his latest mailbag column. Lamb started 18 times in his 80 games last season and posted the best numbers of his six-year NBA career, averaging 12.9 points per game and shooting 37% from 3-point range.

Bonnell expects new coach James Borrego to use Nicolas Batum at small forward more often, opening a spot in the backcourt that will be filled either by Lamb or Malik Monk. Lamb improved his defense last year and provides more size than Monk, so he’s considered the favorite to win the starting job heading into camp.

Lamb is entering the final year of a contract extension he signed in 2015 and will be seeking a raise from his salary of just under $7.5MM. Charlotte will have a tight cap situation heading into the summer with Kemba Walker also as a free agent. With Batum, Monk and Dwayne Bacon as alternatives as shooting guard, the team may decide not to spend big on Lamb.

Bonnell offers more news on the Hornets in the same piece:

  • Expect Frank Kaminsky to see more minutes at center in the preseason, and that could wind up being his primary position in the future. Kaminsky has been used mainly as a power forward during his first three seasons in the league, but the Hornets may want a better outside shooter in the middle after trading away Dwight Howard. Charlotte’s front office will have to decide soon whether to extend a qualifying offer of roughly $5MM to Kaminsky to make him a restricted free agent next summer.
  • The Hornets plan to use free agent addition Tony Parker as Walker’s primary backup this season. The longtime Spur will play about 15 to 17 minutes a night and could be used in combination with Walker to close out games. Rookie Devonte’ Graham looked good in Summer League, but Bonnell doesn’t expect him to be given a large role this season.
  • Offseason changes may put Batum in position for a bounceback year. The addition of Parker, Batum’s close friend and teammate from the French national squad, should help, as should improved health after Batum missed the entire preseason last year with an elbow injury. Bonnell notes that Batum was an awkward fit with Howard, who liked to dominate the ball in the post and often slowed down the offense.

Southwest Notes: Poeltl, Okafor, Matthews, Batum

Jakob Poeltl is hoping an offseason trade to the Spurs will give him a better shot at playing time, relays Tom Orsborne of The San Antonio Express-News. Poeltl was an overlooked part of the deal that sent Kawhi Leonard to Toronto and DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio, but the former first-round pick may find a greater opportunity to show off his skills with his new team. Poeltl describes himself as willing to do the “dirty work” and is thrilled about the opportunity with the Spurs.

“That is one of the things I am most excited about, just the fact that this program has such a big history of developing players,” Poeltl said. “Players that stay here or players that then go somewhere else and become really good players. So, I am really excited for the process. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I am looking forward to it.”

There’s more news from the Southwest Division:

  • In an Instagram post, Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor thanks Kevin Love for bringing mental health issues into the open last season. Okafor, who signed a partially guaranteed two-year deal earlier this month, displays a more toned body in the post, but states that he underwent a greater change on the inside. “I’ve learned how to identify and manage different stressors such as anxiety,” Okafor wrote. “Learning how to identify certain stressors has also allowed me to over come them. Often times because of my size and profession people may view me in a certain way, but in reality I deal with the same struggles as countless others.”
  • Trade speculation will continue to follow Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews in the upcoming season, according to a Dallas Morning News profile. At age 31 and entering the final year of his contract after opting in over the summer, Matthews could be expendable after the team assembled its backcourt of the future in the past two drafts.
  • The Rockets should consider gambling on Hornets forward Nicolas Batum, writes Rahat Huq of Forbes. Houston could use another strong wing defender after losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in free agency, and Charlotte may be willing to take Ryan Anderson in return because Batum’s contract is even larger. Batum is owed more than $49.5MM over the next two seasons and has a $27.1MM player option for 2020/21.

Western Notes: James, Batum, Katsikaris, Jones

LeBron James seriously considered joining the Sixers and Rockets before signing with the Lakers. In an extensive interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that was relayed by Dave McMenamin, James addressed a variety of topics, including which teams he considered during free agency.

“I definitely thought long and hard about the possibilities of lining up alongside Ben [Simmons] and [Joel] Embiid or lining up aside [James] Harden and Chris [Paul],” he told Nichols.

The Sixers had the salary-cap space to sign James but the Rockets would have likely required a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers to acquire his services. James also insisted he doesn’t see next season as a rebuilding year for the Lakers.

“We have an opportunity to do something that a lot of people don’t think we can do, and we love the notion of it’s another rebuilding year and we don’t have enough. So that will motivate the guys that we have anyways.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Rockets are actively seeking a defensive-minded player on the trade market and are willing to take on a long-term contract, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN in comments relayed by digital journalist Ben DuBose. Houston would presumably move forward Ryan Anderson, who has two years and $41.7MM left on his deal. The Hornets’ Nicolas Batum would be a logical target, as Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype notes. Batum has three years and $76.7MM remaining on his contract, which includes a player option in the final year.
  • The Jazz have hired Fotis Katsikaris as an assistant to Quin Snyder, the team announced in a press release. Katsikaris becomes the first-ever native Greek NBA assistant coach. He was a head coach in Spain last season and served as head coach of the Greek national team from 2014-16.
  • The Warriors are unlikely to pick up center Damian Jones‘ fourth-year option, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State must make a decision on the $2.3MM option prior to the start of the season. If it’s declined, Jones will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Hornets Notes: Borrego, Batum, Howard, Zeller

Nicolas Batum may benefit more than anyone from the Hornets’ coaching change, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Spurs assistant James Borrego is expected to install the motion offense used in San Antonio, which plays to Batum’s strengths of handling the ball and making quick decisions.

Charlotte’s approach under Steve Clifford this season was heavy on postups for center Dwight Howard, which restricted Batum’s effectiveness. His scoring average dropped to 11.6 points per game, the lowest in his three years with the Hornets, and Bonnell speculates that he needs a new approach on offense to become productive again.

Bonnell addresses more Hornets topics in a mailbag column:

  • New GM Mitch Kupchak would like to move at least one big contract this summer to provide cap relief, but the organization might be wise to hold onto Howard. Bonnell states that the team may be in a better long-term position by allowing Howard’s $23.8MM contract to expire next summer rather than trading it for other expensive assets. However, he questions how much Howard will play next season, especially if the Hornets fall out of contention early.
  • Of the five players with large contracts, Cody Zeller may be easiest to trade. Zeller is signed for the next three seasons at an average of about $14MM per year, but he is only 25 and could develop into an effective center if he can overcome his injury history.
  • Young players Malik Monk, Willy Hernangomez and Dwayne Bacon may get a better chance to prove themselves under Borrego than Clifford. Bonnell says all three will be closely watched and supervised over the offseason, although Hernangomez will spend a large part of the summer with the Spanish National Team.
  • Borrego may try to add a former NBA head coach to his staff, just as Clifford did with Bob Weiss and Eddie Jordan.
  • The most pressing offseason need is finding a point guard to back up Kemba Walker. Monk played there late in the season, but Bonnell notes that it’s too early to say if that’s his best position. It’s also a long-term concern because Walker is headed for free agency in 2019.

Southeast Notes: Batum, Fournier, Heat, Wade

In a mailbag piece for The Charlotte Observer, Rick Bonnell argues that despite the frustration voiced by fans over the contract of Nicolas Batum, who’s still owed $76.7MM in guaranteed money over the next three seasons, the Hornets should not even consider waiving the swingman.

That’s because under the new CBA rules, Batum’s salary would continue counting against the Hornets’ cap even after his release, as there is no longer an amnesty provision incorporated into the new CBA. Moreover, the Hornets had more issues this season than Batum.

Instead, Bonnell suggests that Batum’s contract, although troublesome, is not “untradeable,” and that the Hornets should be able to trade Batum away if they are willing to take on some other bad contracts in return.

And in another article for the Observer, Bonnell opines that Batum doesn’t necessarily need to be traded. Rather, the Hornets’ next head coach should look to resurrect Batum’s game, which may mean letting him handle the ball more as arguably the team’s top ball-mover and facilitator.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After a tough season in which his team finished 25-57 and missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, Magic guard Evan Fournier plans on joining his countrymen on the French National Team for the third window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers, he tells FIBA.
  • In a season-ending piece for the Sun-Sentinel, Ira Winderman gives his thoughts and other information on the 17 players who finished the 2017/18 NBA season as members of the Heat – including two-way players Derrick Walton Jr. and Derrick Jones Jr.
  • In another article for the Sun-Sentinel, Winderman compares this upcoming offseason to the summer of 2016, when Dwyane Wade left the Heat for Chicago. Ultimately, Winderman believes that unlike two years ago, it’ll be wholly up to Wade as to whether he wants to play in Miami next season, as long as he’s willing to accept a reasonable contract.

Hornets Notes: Clifford, Bacon, Zeller, Batum

The Hornets have already announced that general manager Rich Cho won’t have his contract renewed after this season, and according to Tom Sorensen of The Charlotte Observer, head coach Steve Clifford probably shouldn’t be retained either.

Despite being one of the best coaches that the city of Charlotte has ever had – in Sorensen’s eyes – Sorensen wonders whether the team has reached a point where the players have stopped listening to Clifford and his message.

The Hornets have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this year. The team was widely expected to compete for a playoff spot, but have been out of the hunt for much of the season, currently sporting a record of 34-41 with seven games remaining after finishing with a similarly disappointing record last season at 36-46.

There’s more out of Charlotte from Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

  • The Hornets selected Malik Monk with the 11th overall pick in last year’s draft, with expectations that Monk could come in and help the team this season. However, the Charlotte rookie who has probably ended up having the best season is second-round pick Dwayne Bacon, the 40th overall selection. With that in mind, Bonnell analyzes whether Bacon could end up being the better catch.
  • Hornets big man Cody Zeller missed his 10th consecutive game tonight against the Cavs, leaving Bonnell to wonder whether Zeller may be done for the season. Zeller, who thought he might be ready to play in Dallas on Saturday, said his injured left knee had begun to swell again after he tested it.
  • Part of the Hornets’ problem is a high payroll for next season, leaving the team with few options to improve upon its current roster. One albatross of a contract is that of Nicolas Batum, who is scheduled to make $24MM next season. In a mailbag piece, Bonnell answers some readers’ questions regarding Batum and his contract, among others.

Hornets’ Nicolas Batum Has Chronic Tendinitis

Hornets swingman Nicolas Batum has been diagnosed with chronic tendinitis in his left Achilles, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Batum has been ruled out of Monday’s game with the Sixers, and his status for the rest of the season will depend on how effective treatments are on the condition.

Batum was pulled from Saturday’s game after developing soreness in the Achilles. With the Hornets seven games out of the final playoff spot, they may decide to take the cautious approach and rest him for the remainder of the season.

Batum is under contract for $24MM next year and more than $25.5MM in 2019/20, along with a player option worth more than $27.1MM for the following season. He has been limited to 56 games this season and his numbers have dropped across the board to 11.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night, his lowest totals in all three categories since coming to Charlotte three years ago.

Southeast Notes: Ross, Gordon, Howard, Batum

The Magic have fallen on tough times after an 8-4 start, but they are just two and a half games out of a playoff spot and still qualify as one of this year’s early-season surprises. Coach Frank Vogel tells Nick Friedell of ESPN the team made a mistake at the start of last season by going against the small-ball trend, adding that things began to turn around with the trade of Serge Ibaka to Toronto for Terrence Ross. That created an opening for Aaron Gordon at power forward and Evan Fournier at small forward.

“I think last year we were trying to go big when the whole league was going small and it wasn’t really working,” agreed center Nikola Vucevic. “A lot of guys were out of their comfort zone, a lot of guys were out of position. It just wasn’t working, it wasn’t clicking. I think this year players’ roles are more clear.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • New GM John Hammond is confident that Gordon, a restricted free agent, will agree to a long-term contract next summer, Friedell relays in the same story. Orlando wasn’t able to work out an extension with Gordon before last month’s deadline, but Hammond believes his future will be with the Magic“You look at a guy like that and say, ‘He’s one of those guys as you move forward with, that you got to have,'” Hammond said. “And we feel that way.” Gordon is off to the best start of his career, averaging 17.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in 17 games.
  • Early-season technical fouls are piling up for Hornets center Dwight Howard, notes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. The NBA announced today that Howard was fined $35K for an obscene gesture in Friday’s game at Cleveland. That’s his second fine this season and sixth technical in 18 games. There will be an automatic one-game suspension if he reaches 16, and the league could impose a separate suspension if the obscene gestures continue.
  • Nicolas Batum isn’t worried about any long-term effects from his latest elbow injury, Bonnell tweets. Batum was able to return to the Hornets‘ lineup tonight after sitting out Friday. He left Wednesday’s game with a contusion on his left elbow, the same one that caused him to miss the first 12 games of the season.

Batum, Green, Ilyasova Returning From Injuries

A trio of players who have been sidelined for most or all of the 2017/18 season due to injuries are set to return to action for their respective clubs on Wednesday night, per various reports. JaMychal Green will play for the Grizzlies, Ersan Ilyasova will return for the Hawks, and Nicolas Batum will make his season debut for the Hornets.

Batum’s return may be the most notable of the three, as he has been sidelined since early in the preseason with a torn ligament in his elbow. Reports on Batum’s injury initially suggested he’d be out for eight to 12 weeks, with the Hornets confirming that they expected the veteran swingman to miss at least six weeks. Thursday will mark six weeks since the team made that announcement, so Batum made a speedy recovery. He’ll start tonight against the Cavs, according to the Hornets (Twitter link).

Green, the Grizzlies’ primary power forward, will return to action tonight after missing all but one game this season with an ankle injury, writes Ronald Tillery of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jarell Martin, who appeared to be on the verge of losing his roster spot in training camp, stepped into Memphis’ starting lineup in Green’s absence. Martin figures to return to the bench tonight against the Pacers, while Green looks to begin making good on the two-year contract he signed with Memphis in September.

As for Ilyasova, the Hawks’ power forward, who signed a new two-year deal of his own in the offseason, has been on the shelf since October 27 with a bone bruise in his knee. However, after participating in today’s shootaround, he said he’s ready to go, per Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ilyasova opened the season in the starting lineup, but will come off the bench against the Kings tonight, according to head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Nicolas Batum Won’t Need Surgery On Elbow

A specialist has determined that Nicolas Batum won’t require surgery, reports Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

The Hornets swingman suffered a torn ligament in his left elbow in a game last Wednesday and is projected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks. An MRI showed it was a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.

“It’s going to be long, but not that long,” Batum said before Monday’s meeting with a doctor in Dallas. “If it were my shooting arm, it would be a lot longer. At max, it’s three months.”

The Charlotte medical staff is still determining the best course of treatment, but the team has to be relieved that Batum won’t have to undergo an operation. The 28-year-old is coming off his best statistical season, averaging a career high 15.1 points per game to go with 6.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists.

Batum said he got hurt when his arm got wedged between Detroit’s Stanley Johnson and another player. It’s an injury that frequently affects baseball pitchers and often requires Tommy John surgery.
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