The Charlotte Hornets lost a heartbreaking series to the Miami Heat in seven games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. One player that was really key for the Hornets success in that series, and throughout the season, was Nicolas Batum.
Batum was acquired in the offseason in a trade that sent the ex-Trail Blazer to Charlotte in exchange for Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson. It turned out to be a good move by the Hornets as Batum became the second leading scorer on the team, averaging 14.9 PPG in only 35 minutes of play per game. The Hornets would be very smart to bring back Batum and there are many reasons why.
With the free agency period coinciding with FIBA qualifying, there has been some concern from the French National Team that they would be without their star forward until he decided his next move in his NBA career. So it seems like the Hornets may be acting quick on this re-signing.
It is understood that the French player and the Hornets will quickly agree terms on a new deal and that could could give France enough time to obtain insurance for Batum and allow him to take part in some of the OQT games.
Well this sounds like a win for all parties. Nicolas Batum can get some big money elsewhere, but it probably would not be from a team that is any more of a contender than the Hornets are. Charlotte is the best situation for Batum because this is the situation where the most will be asked out of him. Last year, he had the most field goal attempts per game in his career, so you know the Hornets feel that they will be asking a lot out of him in the future. Also, with a more healthy and rejuvenated Al Jefferson coming back, that can create even more shooting opportunities for Batum.
This quick process of re-signing Batum could also help the Hornets because it could save them some money on their end. Batum will not have as much time to negotiate the contract and talk about increasing his contract worth.
On the other hand, this is a good thing for Batum that he can get his contract situation finished early because he will be able to help the French National Team in their quest for Olympic Medals.
Overall, bringing back Batum would be a smart move for the Hornets, and a smart move for Batum himself. He has a big responsibility for this Hornets team that is trying to make a push in the Eastern Conference, why would either party want to jeopardize that?