Hornets Rumors: Nicolas Batum to Be Waived to Make Room for Gordon Hayward

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 21, 2020

Charlotte Hornets guard Nicolas Batum (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Nicolas Batum will reportedly be a late addition to the free-agent pool, as the Charlotte Hornets intend to waive the veteran forward in order to make room for Gordon Hayward.

Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Hayward will sign a four-year, $120 million deal with Charlotte.  

Per Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, the Hornets will "use the NBA's stretch provision to spread cap implications of Batum's remaining $27 million over three seasons" in order to fit Hayward's salary. Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Batum was already receiving interest from "multiple contending teams." 

ESPN's Bobby Marks noted that Charlotte only had $20 million in cap space at the time Hayward's deal was agreed upon. 

Last season was a disappointment for Batum, as he seemed to fall out of favor with head coach James Borrego. The 31-year-old averaged 3.6 points in 22 games. He didn't play in any of Charlotte's final 19 games of the regular season. 

Things got so bad for Batum that he even apologized to the Hornets for not living up the contract he signed. 

"I apologize to the people here, because they put so much faith in me," he told Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer (h/t WBTV). "And it didn't go well... It didn't work out. But what do I have to do? Because I'm still here."

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Batum originally signed a five-year, $120 million extension with the Hornets in July 2016. He was coming off the most productive season of his career in 2015-16, with an average of 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.