NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Possibly Signing Nicholas Batum

New York Knicks forward Nicolas Batum

NBA rumors have been swirling around Nicolas Batum. The 27-year-old Frenchman is set to become an unrestricted free agent this upcoming offseason. Batum’s play this season has caught the eyes of several National Basketball Association teams. There is a very good chance that he will be receiving a maximum contract. According to FanSided, one of the teams interested in acquiring Batum could be the New York Knicks. He has the perfect skill set to thrive in the Triangle Offense. Batum has established himself as one of the best two-way players in the NBA.

Nicolas Batum was the 25th selection in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. He was traded on that same night to the Portland Trail Blazers for Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey. When he was first drafted, Batum was regarded as a highly skilled defensive player, and he is one of the National Basketball Association’s best executors of the chase-down block. In the 2012 NBA season, only two players who didn’t play center had more blocks than him. Those players were Josh Smith and Kevin Durant.

New York Knicks guard Arron Afflalo
Nicolas Batum has adapted his game throughout his entire career. After four seasons in the National Basketball Association, he started becoming a play maker for the Portland Trail Blazers. In the 2012 season, Batum joined an illustrious group of players. He was the 15th player in the NBA to record a five-by-five. Batum had 11 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, five steals, and five blocks.

Last summer, Nicolas Batum was traded to the Charlotte Hornets for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh. Batum had a drop-off the year before. Some people felt that his value in the NBA had dropped. He proved everyone wrong after this season. Batum helped the Hornets to a 48-34 record, tied for third best in the Eastern Conference. This year, he averaged 14.9 points, 5.8 assists, and 6.1 rebounds.

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony
The New York Knicks had issues with their point guard and shooting guard positions. The starting back court was Jose Calderon and Arron Afflalo. Both of those guys did a good job, but not an amazing job. Calderon’s age has caught up with him. Afflalo was benched by interim head coach Kurt Rambis in a move that many felt was done so that Afflalo would opt out of his contract this summer.

Nicolas Batum could be a perfect fit for the New York Knicks. He has all of the skills to thrive in the Triangle Offense. He is a good facilitator, shooter, and someone who penetrate the paint. The Frenchman would be able to help take the load off of Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Batum is 6’8″ and can play all five positions on the floor. Not only would he help the Knicks on offense, but his defensive presence would certainly be a boost for the team. Batum would be able to defend the best perimeter player on the opposing team.

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis
Phil Jackson stated earlier in the NBA season that he doesn’t need a superstar point guard for the New York Knicks. The Zen Master prefers to have tall guards playing in the Triangle Offense. Jackson is not a big fan of traditional point guards. When Jackson was coaching the Chicago Bulls, his two guards were Michael Jordan and Ron Harper. Both of those players were 6’6″. They won multiple NBA Championships without a true point guard.

Nicolas Batum’s play this season has certainly raised his value. Several teams in the NBA will be looking to acquire his talents this summer. Batum could be getting a maximum contract offer from the New York Knicks. He has the whole skill set that Phil Jackson prefers to have in the Triangle Offense.

[Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]