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    Batum agrees to five-year, $120M deal with Hornets, but will likely miss France-Gilas match. Here's why

    by the web
    Jul 1, 2016
    Nicolas Batum is reportedly staying with the Charlotte Hornets on a lucrative five-year deal. AP

    NICOLAS Batum has reportedly reached a deal to stay with the Charlotte Hornets, but the France swingman will likely miss their game against Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament on July 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    According to Shams Charania of Yahoo’s The Vertical, league sources say Batum and the Hornets have reached an agreement on a five-year, $120 million deal. The agreement has also been reported in other media outlets.

    However, NBA free agents can only make deals official on July 7 when the league’s offseason moratorium on player movement expires.

    This development makes Batum’s availability for France’s game against Gilas, set on July 5, very unlikely since the French star forward may not want to risk losing his lucrative deal if he chooses to suit up--unless there's an agreement between Batum and the Hornets in place that allows him to play even as he hasn't signed the contract.
    Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press also reports that Batum won’t be available until after he signs his new NBA deal.

    The French team arrived early Friday in Manila without Batum, even as coach Vincent Collet included him in their final 12-man roster. But in a press conference before their flight to the Philippines, Collet bared his back-up plan as they also brought along Edwin Jackson in case Batum’s contract negotiations extend beyond the tournament or injuries to Antoine Diot and Mickael Gelabale should leave them with a depleted lineup. Teams have until the day before the tournament to make replacements to their roster.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Batum is still in the US, and although he has supposedly agreed with the Hornets, things could still get complicated as shown by the free agency mess between the LA Clippers and Dallas Mavericks over DeAndre Jordan last year. ESPN’s Marc Spears and Tim McMahon earlier reported that Batum is scheduled to meet the Mavericks while the New York Knicks, LA Lakers, and Washington Wizards will make their pitch over the phone.

    The French star, though, has confirmed the deal on his Twitter account, and has also expressed excitement to join countrymen Tony Parker and company for the Manila OQT.

    "Good luck to my guys. See you soon #MissionRio," he said on another tweet.

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    Nicolas Batum is reportedly staying with the Charlotte Hornets on a lucrative five-year deal. AP
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