Clippers forward Nicolas Batum will not be wanting for suitors this offseason after a bounce-back performance with Los Angeles in 2020/21. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter link) that, in addition to the Clippers, other playoff-caliber teams are interested in the versatile player’s services, including the Heat, Warriors and Pacers.
After being waived by the Hornets ahead of the 2020/21 season, Batum became a highly valuable 3-and-D addition on the Clippers roster, even moving into the starting lineup as the club’s power forward ahead of the much-pricier Marcus Morris for a lot of the season, before Morris’s play turned a corner and he eventually reclaimed the position.
Batum logged 27.4 MPG on a Clippers team that broke through the Western Conference Finals for the first time in its history. He averaged 8.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.6 BPG. The 32-year-old posted a shooting line of .464/.404/.828.
Here are more free agency rumors from around the NBA:
- Veteran Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony could reunite with the Knicks this summer, per ESPN’s Jordan Schultz (via Twitter). Anthony, 37, averaged 13.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, and 1.5 APG on .421/.409/.890 shooting splits as a reserve with Portland across 69 games in the 2020/21 season. The well-traveled Anthony made six All-Star appearances while with New York, and four with the Nuggets. During his most successful season as the Knicks’s marquee player, he led the team to a second-round playoff loss in the 2013 Eastern semifinals against the Pacers, a team led by his eventual Thunder teammate Paul George. Schultz notes that Knicks team president Leon Rose has a good rapport with Anthony, having served as the probable Hall of Famer’s longtime agent before moving into his current front office role with New York.
- After the Heat (wisely) opted to decline his $15MM player option for the 2021/22 season, veteran forward Andre Iguodala is now an unrestricted free agent once again. After appearing in six straight NBA finals, and winning three, Iguodala appears to be targeting title contention. The Warriors are expected to chat with the 37-year-old about a possible reunion, tweets Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. Jordan Schultz of ESPN also reports (Twitter link) that the new-look Lakers are also eyeballing Iguodala as a savvy veteran contributor. Given Iguodala’s advanced age and on-court performance of late, it seems possible he could look to sign for significantly less than his $15MM player option for the season. The 2015 Finals MVP with the Warriors, Iguodala has proven to be a valuable clubhouse leader even with his best on-court days behind him. Though no longer much of a scorer, Iguodala could still have value as a solid ball handler and defender in limited minutes for a contender. During his second season with Miami in 2020/21, he put up a relatively modest stat line, averaging just 4.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.9 SPG and 0.6 BPG in 21.3 MPG.
- The Mavericks apparently expect to be able to re-sign reserve center Boban Marjanović this summer, reports Marc Stein (via Twitter). The Mavericks first signed the 7’4″ Marjanovic in free agency during the 2019 offseason, on a two-year, $7MM deal. The 32-year-old averaged just 8.2 MPG as a backup big with a playoff Dallas team this year, but in that brief time he produced (in a per-minute sense), averaging 4.7 PPG and 3.9 RPG.