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.
Free agent Nicolas Batum has reached agreement with Charlotte on a five-year, $120 million deal, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2016
However, NBA free agents can only make deals official on July 7 when the league’s offseason moratorium on player movement expires.
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.
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.
Source tells @MarcJSpearsESPN that Nic Batum will meet with Hornets and Mavs in Dallas and will talk to Knicks, Lakers, Wizards on phone.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 30, 2016
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.
We got a deal! #BuzzCity ????— Nicolas Batum (@nicolas88batum) July 1, 2016
"Good luck to my guys. See you soon #MissionRio," he said on another tweet.