Report: Charlotte Hornets Acquire Nicolas Batum


The Charlotte Hornets have acquired forward Nicolas Batum in exchange for guard Gerald Henderson and forward Noah Vonleh according to reports by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Batum is due to make $11 million dollars next year which is the final year of his contract.

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The world of the Charlotte Hornets is changing swiftly. In one move they have moved away from Vonleh, who was part of their future post depth. Batum is a wing for Portland. He is 6’8’ and 200 lbs. He has shot 37% from the three point line for his career but only 33% last season. He also has a long winspan for his size, which makes him a potential nuisance on defense.

The hard thing to understand about Batum is that he does the same things that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist does with a better shooting stroke. Playing them together would allow the Hornets to potentially lock down the perimeter, but I am not sure how much that would solve the spacing issues on the floor on offense. Unless Batum has an inner Stephen Jackson to his game, which would put him at the two guard.

Batum does not represent too much of a risk. He is in the last year of his deal. If he flops, then the Hornets will have $11 million to play with next year. He could also be part of mid-season trade to bring in a big salary player. In fact the Hornets may be looking to flip him here in the off season, though losing Henderson and Vonleh just to get a bargaining chip does not make much sense.

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The final benefit of this trade for the Hornets is that their number of committed roster spots just went down by one. The Hornets had the trouble of having an almost full roster yet wanting to make moves to improve the team. Kemba Walker’s new deal also eats cap room so that trades are the only real roster upgrade tool the Hornets have.

This move does not really affect the Hornets draft board as they could still draft a shooter. However, the absence of Vonleh does open a hole in the post rotation to fill.

Next: Charlotte Hornets Draft Series: Sam Dekker