NBA Rumors: Nicolas Batum Signing With Charlotte Hornets

NBA rumors have been swirling around Nicolas Batum. The 27-year-old swing man is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. According to NBC Sports, Batum would prefer to resign with the Charlotte Hornets. The salary cap will be set around $92 million this year. A majority of the teams in the National Basketball Association will have plenty of money to spend on free agents. Teams will be interested in Batum due to his play this year.

Last summer, the Charlotte Hornets traded for Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers. The Hornets gave up Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh to get Batum. Charlotte has been looking for help at the wing for the past couple of seasons. They were hoping that Batum would fill in that missing void. Portland did this trade because they knew LaMarcus Aldridge was leaving the team. They were starting the rebuilding process.

San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge LaMarcus Aldridge [Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images]This season, Nicolas Batum help lead the Charlotte Hornets to a 48-34 record. He was the second scoring option on the team behind Kemba Walker. Batum played his best basketball in his eight-year career. He averaged 14.9 points, 5.8 assists, and 6.1 rebounds per game. Nicolas had a career high in points and assists this season. Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford unleashed the full potential of Batum.

Nicolas Batum isn’t the only player set to become a free agent this summer. The Charlotte Hornets will also have to resign Jeremy Lin, Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee, and Marvin Williams. All of these players have expressed interest in coming back to the team. Charlotte will be looking to keep their core players together for the next several seasons. The main priority for the Hornets will be Batum. He was a vital player for the team’s success. Hornets head coach Steve Clifford will play a major factor in resigning Batum.

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker Kemba Walker [Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]According to Hoops Hype, Nicolas Batum is the fifth best small forward available in free agency this summer. The number one small forward is Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunders star will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. LeBron James is the second best small forward. Not a lot of people can picture James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors is ranked as the third best at the position. Chandler Parsons from the Dallas Mavericks is the fourth best player at his position. Batum is ranked behind Barnes and Parsons. Some executives in the NBA might disagree with that.

The Charlotte Hornets will be looking to add several free agents this upcoming summer. The team is looking to add an interior rim defender during free agency. They have their eyes on a couple centers. One of those players is Dwight Howard from the Houston Rockets. The former Defensive Player of the Year will consider joining the Hornets and reuniting with head coach Steve Clifford. Another player Charlotte will be looking at will be Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat. He is currently averaging 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game.

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard Dwight Howard [Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images]Many teams in the NBA will be looking to add an all around small forward. If Kevin Durant decides to leave the Oklahoma City Thunders, the team could be looking a replacement. Nicolas Batum could fill in that void. He has proven this year that he can be a reliable second option.

Several teams will be interested in Nicolas Batum this upcoming summer. This season, he has proven to be one of the better all around players in the NBA. Batum may not be a superstar, but he is a player that can help a team win games.

[Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]