Nicolas Batum has proven that he still has a future in the NBA. Batum was almost out of the league after being given a massive 5-year $120 million contract by the Charlotte Hornets in 2016 and not living up to expectations. Batum and his massive contract was waived by Charlotte in 2020, a decision that the French forward found out about on Twitter.
He used that free agency to become a bench player on the Los Angeles Clippers, proving to be an extremely valuable piece for them since. Batum was crucial to their Western Conference Finals run in 2021 after Kawhi Leonard was injured in the second round.
Batum was solid through the year but isn't the kind of piece to lead the team to the Playoffs. He was tweeting about being back home in France and asked his followers what he missed while sleeping, to which someone responded to him by saying 'the playoffs'.
Batum had a small exchange with the fan and appreciated the humor, even if it may have been a little mean. Everyone just had a laugh about it, as it was a pretty hilarious reply.
The Clippers' injury-riddled year saw them make the play-in but not the playoffs. The early end of the season was expected after Kawhi was out for the season and Paul George missed extended periods of time. They'll be hoping to return to title contention next season with their stars being available and the reported signing of John Wall.
Batum has a $3.3 million player option on his contract that he is expected to opt-out of and re-sign with the Clippers. The Clippers have loaded up on wing players like Batum and will be hoping to employ the versatility of their lineup to good effect and catch the Western Conference off-guard after the quiet season they just had.