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Batum and Steve Clifford Could Be a Package Deal
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Batum provided context to his suggestion when he discussed his relationship with Clifford, per Bonnell: “He trusts me. He believes in me. So that could be a big factor.”
That is good news for those hoping Batum stays in Charlotte because Bonnell reported Wednesday the Hornets and Clifford "have come to an agreement on a multiyear extension. ... The deal includes a three-year guarantee that would keep Clifford in his current role through the 2018-19 season. The Hornets have an option on the 2019-20 season."
The former Trail Blazer fit right into the Hornets’ attack and is averaging 16.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in the early going. It would be a career high if he maintained those scoring numbers all season, and he already took home his first career Eastern Conference Player of the Week award this year.
The Hornets would be in the Eastern Conference playoffs if the season ended Wednesday, thanks largely to the performance of Batum alongside superstar big man Al Jefferson and guard Kemba Walker.
Batum is playing impressive basketball at the age 26 and will be in line for a pricey contract if it continues, especially with the cap set to increase in the coming years when the swingman is still in his prime. Charlotte apparently maximized its chances with Batum with the decision to commit to Clifford long-term.