The Los Angeles Clippers will reportedly add depth to the roster in the form of Nicolas Batum, who is expected to sign with the team after clearing waivers, per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.
Batum picked up his $27.1 million player option for 2020-21, but the Hornets planned to waive him using the stretch provision and spread the remaining salary over the next three seasons, per Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
Despite some struggles in recent years, Batum could provide some value to the Clippers next season with his effort on both ends of the court.
UPDATED DEPTH CHART
PG: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Reggie Jackson
SG: Paul George, Luke Kennard, Terance Mann
SF: Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum
PF: Marcus Morris, Serge Ibaka, Mfiondu Kabengele
C: Ivica Zubac, Daniel Oturu, Patrick Patterson
Batum joins the team following a miserable run with the Hornets after initially signing a five-year, $120 million deal in 2016. He averaged 12.1 points per game during his five years in Charlotte, but the Frenchman averaged just 3.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in 2019-20.
He appeared in just 22 games last year, with only three being starts, while averaging 23.0 minutes per game and shooting only 34.6 percent from the field.
Despite the recent struggles, the 31-year-old has showed he can be valuable contributor who fills up the stat sheet in a lot of ways.
The 6'9", 230-pound wing has averages of 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game during his 12-year NBA career, shooting 35.7 percent from three-point range. He has also helped with his perimeter defense, especially during his time with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Leaving Charlotte could give Batum a chance to reestablish himself as a reliable two-way player and a part of the Clippers' rotation.
Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are obviously elite on both ends of the court, but depth is important especially with both missing significant time last year with injuries.
Batum can help keep the stars fresh for the stretch run and help Los Angeles get over the top after a disappointing second-round playoff loss last season.