Charlotte Hornets: At this point, is Nicolas Batum tradable?

Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Nicolas Batum (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

It appears that the Charlotte Hornets are actively trying to trade Nicolas Batum, but his contract is going to make that a difficult task.

Life as a General Manager in the National Basketball Association is not easy, just ask former Charlotte Hornets GM Rich Cho, who signed Nicolas Batum to an outrageous five-year, $120 million deal back in 2016.

Giving this contract to Batum could be one reason why he is no longer with the team. Mitch Kupchak is now in charge, but Cho left this team in a tough place financially. Now, it could be tough to trade Batum and the two years left on his deal.

Over the past 24 hours, we’ve been relaying the news that SportingNews has reported. That news was regarding the team willing to trade Frank Kaminsky, but it also included that the team is “desperate” to move Batum.

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While Batum is a solid player, his best years are behind him. He’s a good all-around threat, but simply is not worth the $120 million that the Hornets invested in him. He’s averaging 8.8 points per game this season, his lowest scoring average since his rookie season in 2008-09.

What makes things worse for Charlotte is Kemba Walker‘s impending free agency. If he decides to stay with the Hornets, it’s going to cost a lot of money. That on top of Batum’s bad contract and other lucrative deals, the Hornets will have very little financial security moving forward.

I understand that the free agency period back in 2016 was a frenzy thanks to the spike in the salary cap. Many teams threw top dollars at players and are regretting it right now. However, some of those contracts were just as hard to process then as they are now, including Batum’s.

Other notable contracts from that free agency period were current Hornet Bismack Biyombo (four-year, $72 million from Orlando), Luol Deng (four-year, $72 million from Los Angeles) and Timofey Mozgov (four-year, $64 million from Los Angeles).

Marvin Williams got paid by the Charlotte Hornets during that period, earning a four-year, $54.5 million deal. That’s a pretty decent contract for a key contributor to his Hornets team.

Batum, though, is now 30 years old and his play has been declining. It’s going to be really difficult to convince a team to take on his contract in a trade, which means the Hornets may have to live with their previous mistakes.

Next. All-Star voting is in for Kemba Walker. dark

Like I said earlier, Batum is a good player. Actually, he’s a very good player and has always been a steady professional. But his contract is hurting the team tremendously right now, and it puts a cloud over the teams future going forward.