In the 2016 NBA offseason, the Charlotte Hornets gave Nicolas Batum a five-year, $120 million deal with the hope that he could help the team contend for the NBA championship. Unfortunately, Batum has failed to live up to expectations, and as of now, the Hornets are active on the market, searching for teams who are willing to absorb his contract.
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the NBA teams who may consider trading for Nicolas Batum before the February NBA trade deadline is the San Antonio Spurs.
“San Antonio isn’t in the habit of taking on crappy salary — or making midseason trades at all. But Batum is such a Spurs player, and they need switchable wings. The money he’s owed shouldn’t turn them off. He comes off the books after 2020-21 with LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan. The Spurs aren’t scheduled for serious cap space before then. They can waive Aldridge’s partial guarantee ahead of that season ($7 million), but DeRozan, Patty Mills and Dejounte Murray’s eventual deal will fetch a pretty penny.”
To acquire Nicolas Batum, Favale suggested that the Spurs could engage in a three-team trade with the Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers. In the proposed trade deal, the Spurs would receive Batum, a 2019 first-round pick, a 2019 second-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick, the Sixers would acquire Frank Kaminsky, and the Hornets would get Marco Belinelli, Pau Gasol, and Justin Patton. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Should the Sacramento Kings pursue Nicolas Batum? https://t.co/cI3QFtp4me
— A Royal Pain (@ARoyalPain) January 5, 2019
The Spurs wouldn’t mind absorbing Nicolas Batum’s contract as long as they acquire future draft assets in return. Playing under one of the best coaches in league history, Gregg Popovich, could help Batum revive his NBA career. Despite his struggles in the past, Batum could still be a good addition to the Spurs, giving them a wingman who is currently knocking down 39.7 percent of his three-point attempts.
The deal will not only be beneficial for the Spurs, but also for the Hornets and the Sixers. Trading Nicolas Batum will enable the Hornets to free a huge chunk of their salary cap space in which they could use to re-sign Jeremy Lamb and Kemba Walker in the 2019 NBA free agency.
By sacrificing a future second-round pick, the 76ers would be adding a player who could boost their frontcourt depth. Frank Kaminsky will be a valuable backup center for the Sixers, especially when Joel Embiid needs to rest. Aside from his ability to shoot the ball from beyond the arc, Kaminsky has managed to turn himself into a quality rim protector this season.