Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum
31-Year-Old ForwardF
Charlotte Hornets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Batum is coming off the lowest-usage season of his career (13.2%), compiling four-year lows in points (9.9) and assists (3.3) per game. That said, he had the third-most efficient season of his career (58.1 true shooting percentage) and still saw 30-plus minutes for the ninth straight campaign. Heading into his age 31 season, Batum's declining usage would imply that he's no longer a significant offensive threat. However, with Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb (the Hornets' two leading scorers last season) moving on, Batum may have to help pick up some slack, as it's up for debate if he's now the best player on Charlotte. A best-case scenario would see him produce similar numbers to his first two seasons with the Hornets, where he averaged 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.0 steals. The range of outcomes on Batum's 2019-20 campaign seem high considering his age and Charlotte's poor roster construction, but he's unquestionably worth a late-round flier in the majority of fantasy drafts. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Hornets in July of 2016. Contract includes $27.13 million player option for 2020-21.
Personal Bio

Batum was born in 1988 in Lisieux, France to Richard and Sylvia Batum. He began his pro career at 17 with Le Mans Sarthe in the French League and played there for two seasons. At the 2006 FIBA Europe U-18 Championship, Batum won gold with France in addition to being named MVP and part of the All-Tournament team. He has also competed for his country at several other events, including a gold at the 2013 FIBA EuroBasket and bronze at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Batum represented France at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in addition to participating for the World Team at the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit. He established the Batum Foundation in 2011 with his mother and sister to help pregnant African women and their children. You can follow Batum on Twitter (@nicolas88batum) and Instagram (@nicbatum88).

College/International Summary

Unlike many European players, Batum did not spend many years making his way through various leagues before heading to the NBA. The 6-foot-8 Frenchman spent just two seasons playing for Le Mans Sarthe and was just 20 years of age when he made his way to the USA. In his first season for Le Mans, he came off the bench for 13.0 minutes and provided 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds. Batum had a greater impact in his second season when he provided 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. The wing has had impressive performances in international competition. He was the most valuable player in the Under-18 Albert Schweitzer Tournament to help France prevail in the competition. He also opened some eyes in the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit when he provided 23 points, four rebounds and four steals. After finishing the 2008 season in France, Batum made himself available for the 2008 NBA Draft, where he was selected with the 25th pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets, although he was later traded to the Portland Trail Blazers for the rights to Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey.

Non-factor in rotation
FCharlotte Hornets
March 5, 2020
Batum hasn't appeared in game for the Hornets since Jan. 24, sitting out each of the last 15 games as the result of either an illness or a coach's decision.
ANALYSIS
The illness kept Batum out for two games in early February, but his string of absences from the rotation both before and after that time suggest that he wouldn't have gotten off the bench for those contests anyway. The Frenchman has been a massive disappointment for the Hornets since inking a five-year, $120 million contract extension back in the summer of 2016, and though he had been a mainstay in the rotation prior to this season, the organization seems to be writing him off as a sunk cost at this point. He'll likely continue to rack up the DNP-CDs through next season, as Batum is a virtual lock to exercise his $27 million player option for 2020-21.
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Past Season Summaries
2019

Batum appeared in 22 games for the Hornets during the 2019-20 season. He averaged 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 23.0 minutes. He shot 34.6 percent from the field, 28.6 percent from three and 90.0 percent from the free-throw line. Batum posted single-game season highs of 13 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals, two threes and two blocks. Batum posted at least five points six times, at least five rebounds 12 times and at least five assists five times. He also posted at least one steal 12 times and at least one block six times. He hit at least one three in 13 contests. During the six games that Batum saw at least 30 minutes, he averaged 6.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals. Batum had 10 performances with at least one point, one rebound, one assist and one steal. He shot over 50 percent from the field in 10 of his appearances.

2018

During Nicolas Batum's fourth season in Charlotte, the Frenchman yet again played more than 30 minutes per contest (31.4) for a ninth consecutive season. He also posted the third-most efficient season (58.1 true shooting percentage) of his long career. As has been the case for his entire 11-year NBA run, Batum continues to impact the game in a variety of different ways. He averaged more than five rebounds (5.2) for the sixth time in the past seven years, highlighted by a pair of 10-rebound games against Philadelphia in October and Memphis in February. Batum contributed five or more assists on 19 separate occasions. Batum also remained an effective three-point specialist. He has shot at least 32.4 percent from deep in each of his 11 NBA seasons, and his 38.9 percent clip in 2018-19 was his highest in the past seven years. Defensively, Batum averaged 1.5 steals-plus-blocks per contest. Toss in the fact Batum remains one of the league's premier free-throw shooters (86.5 percent last season) and it's easy to see why Charlotte appreciates Batum's versatility.

2017

Batum started 64 games for the Charlotte Hornets in 2017-2018. He averaged 11.6 points per game, finishing in double-figures for the third straight year and eighth time over his NBA career. Batum shot 41.5 percent from the field, including 33.6 percent from three-point range. He poured in a season-high 31 points against Indiana on Feb. 2. In that contest, Batum would hit a season-best seven threes. Batum also managed marks of 4.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. He'd go on to register two triple-doubles on the season. On Mar. 15 at Atlanta, his triple-double included a career-high 16 assists. Batum's performed exceptionally well during February. In that month, he averaged 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists. Batum would finish the season fourth on the team in scoring and rebounding and second in assists.

2016

Batum started 77 games for the Hornets, averaging 34.0 minutes per contest. He posted 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, a career-best 5.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Batum scored in double-figures 61 times and recorded at least 20 points 16 times. He topped out with 31 points against the Clippers on Feb. 26 and matched the total against the Celtics on April 8. Batum handed out a season-high 12 assists against Minnesota on Dec. 3, also adding eight boards and three steals to go with 15 points. He recorded his lone triple-double of the season (20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) against the Bulls on Dec. 23. Versus Milwaukee on April 10, Batum had 11 points, eight assists, five rebounds, four steals and a block. He hit a season-high eight three-pointers in the aforementioned game against the Clippers. Between Jan. 25 and Feb. 26, Batum scored in double-figures in 14 straight games. In that span, he averaged 17.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists while shooting 43.5 percent from the field and 45.9 percent from beyond the arc.

2015

The Frenchman appeared in 70 games for the Hornets, posting averages of 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 0.9 steals in 35.0 minutes per contest. Batum shot 42.6 percent from the field, including 34.8 percent from three on 5.7 attempts per game. The veteran scored a season-high 33 points in a win over the Trail Blazers on Nov. 15, also adding six assists and five rebounds. In a win over Indiana on Mar. 4, Batum went for 31 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks. He posted 28 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals against the Bulls on Nov. 13. In a Feb. 6 win over Washington, Batum nearly notched a triple-double, finishing with 26 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, a steal and a block. Batum handed out double-digit assists six times. He topped out with 12 assists against the Sixers on Mar. 29. In that game, he notched one of two triple-doubles (19 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) on the season -- the other came against the Heat on Dec. 9 (10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists). Batum hit a season-high five three-pointers on five separate occasions. He scored in double-figures in 17 straight games from Mar. 1 through Apr. 1, averaging 18.5 points, 6.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds in that span. Batum finished the season ranked 19th in the NBA in total assists (403) and 20th in assists per game.

2014

In 71 starts for the Trail Blazers, Batum averaged 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.1 steals during the 2014-15 season. He hit 40.0 percent of his field goals, including 32.4 percent of his three-pointers and a career-best 85.7 percent of his free throws. Batum recorded a season-high four blocks against the Timberwolves on Dec. 10 and matched that total in a Jan. 10 win over Orlando. The Frenchman scored in double-figures 30 times, topping out with 27 points (6-8 3Pt), to go with 10 boards and five assists, in a loss to Phoenix on Jan. 21. He posted 20 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and a steal in a win over the Clippers on Mar. 4. The next night, in a win over Dallas, the forward posted 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. On Mar. 16, Batum snatched a season-high 15 rebounds, to go with 12 points and five assists, against the Wizards. Against the Clippers on Apr. 1, Batum went for 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals in 33 minutes. In the postseason, Batum started all five games against Memphis in Round 1. In Game 3 of the series, Batum scored 27 points, to go with six rebounds and four assists. In a Game 4 victory, he finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and a steal.

2013

In his sixth NBA season, Batum appeared in all 82 games -- all starts -- for the first time in his career. In 36.0 minutes per contest for Portland, he averaged 13.0 points, a career-high 7.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.7 blocks, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field. Batum hit 36.1 percent of his three-point attempts and 80.3 percent of his free throws -- his sixth straight season above 80 percent. The native of France logged 11 games with at least 20 points and scored in double-digits 57 times. In a win over Toronto on Nov. 17, Batum drilled a season-high five three-pointers and posted a season-high 24 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal. In a Mar. 16 loss to Golden State, he posted 23 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Batum matched that scoring total against the Knicks on Nov. 25, also adding seven rebounds and six dimes. Batum hauled in double-digit rebounds 19 times, including two games with a season-high 18 boards. One of those came against the Pelicans on Mar. 14, when he finished with 22 points, 18 rebounds, five assists and a steal. Batum recorded one of two triple-doubles on the season in a win over the Spurs on Nov. 2 (11 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists). The other came against the Magic on Jan. 8, when Batum generated 14 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high 14 assists. In the playoffs, Batum helped lead Portland to the Western Conference Semifinals. In Round 1 against Houston, he averaged 15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.3 steals for the six-game series. Batum scored in double-figures in four of five games against San Antonio in Round 2. Over the final four games of the series, he averaged 16.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from behind the arc.

2012

In his fifth NBA season, Batum appeared in, and started, 73 games for the Trail Blazers. In 38.5 minutes per game, the Frenchman established new per-game career highs in points (14.3), rebounds (5.6), assists (4.9), steals (1.2) and blocks (1.1). He hit 42.3 percent of his field goals, 37.2 percent of his threes and a new-career-high 84.8 percent of his free throws. In a win over Houston on Nov. 3, Batum finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, a career-high six steals, four assists and two blocks in 45 minutes of action. Versus San Antonio on Nov. 10, Batum posted 33 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. Six nights later, Batum delivered a career-high 35 points against the Rockets, also adding six rebounds, four assists, a career-high five blocks and one steal. He posted 28 points (9-11 FT), seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in a win over Miami on Jan. 10. The Frenchman recorded a pair of triple-doubles on the season -- the first of which came against the Wizards on Jan. 21 (12 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds). Five days later, Batum went for 20 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a Jan. 26 win over the Clippers.

2011

In his fourth year in the NBA, Batum appeared in 59 games, making 34 starts, during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. He averaged a career-high 13.9 points per game, to go with 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block in 30.4 minutes per contest. Batum scored in double-figures 41 times, including nine games with at least 20 points. He scored a season-high 33 points (9-for-15 3Pt) against the Nuggets on Feb. 4 and matched that total on Feb. 14 against the Wizards. In a win over the Hornets on Feb. 10, Batum recorded a season-high five steals to go with nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Against Minnesota on Mar. 3, Batum went for 29 points, three assists and two steals while knocking down all eight of his free throw attempts. On Apr. 2, he delivered 16 points, a season-high 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks against Utah. Two nights later, Batum again grabbed 10 rebounds, to go with 20 points, two steals and two assists, in a win over the Nets.

2010

In his third NBA season, Batum appeared in 80 games and made 67 starts for the Trail Blazers. He established new career-bests in scoring (12.4 PPG), rebounding (4.5 RPG), assists (1.5 APG) and steals (0.9 SPG). The versatile wing started the season on a high note, recording 19 points and 11 rebounds in an opening-night win over the Suns on Oct. 26. From Nov. 4 through Nov. 20, Batum scored in double-figures in nine straight games, averaging 16.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks in that span. On Dec. 5, Batum grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, plus added 13 points, during a home win over the Clippers. Batum scored in double-figures 14 times on the season, topping out with 25 points in a loss to the Lakers on Mar. 20. Against the Wizards on Mar. 22, Batum went for 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. The Frenchman notched a season-high five assists against Dallas on Mar. 15, and he matched that toal two nights later in a 41-point win over the Cavaliers. In the postseason, Batum appeared in all six games of the Blazers' first-round series against Dallas. In Game 1, he posted 14 points, four assists and two rebounds in 34 minutes. For the series, Batum averaged 8.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists off the bench.

2009

Coming off of a strong rookie season, Batum appeared in 37 games during the 2009-10 season, with 25 starts. He missed the first 45 games of the season while recovering from an elbow injury. Batum made his return to action on Jan. 25 against New Orleans and finished with six points in 10 minutes off the bench. Two nights later against the Jazz, Batum went for 16 points (7-9 FG) and four rebounds in 27 minutes. He made his first start of the season on Feb. 9 against Oklahoma City, posting 12 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 36 minutes. Against Minnesota on Feb. 27, Batum generated a career-high 31 points, hitting 11 of 16 field goals and five of eight three-point attempts. He also added seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. In a loss to the Warriors on Apr. 14, Batum posted 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. In the playoffs, he started all six games of Portland's first-round series against the Suns. For the series, Batum averaged 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.5 three-pointers in 23.1 minutes per postseason contest.

2008

A rookie out of France, Batum appeared in 79 games and made 76 starts for Portland. The 25th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Batum averaged 18.4 minutes per game, which he translated to 5.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists. In his NBA debut on Oct. 28, Batum played four minutes off the bench, making his lone shot for two points and three rebounds. He scored in double figures in his second game, going for 12 points in a win over the Spurs on Oct. 31. Two games later, Batum made his first NBA start against the Jazz on Nov. 5; he went on to remain in the lineup for the rest of the regular season. On Jan. 4 against the Lakers, Batum posted 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal. Against the Bucks on Jan. 19, he pulled down a season-high eight boards. Batum registered a season-high 20 points in a win over New Jersey on Mar. 13. In the postseason, he averaged 10.5 minutes over the course of Portland's six-game loss to the Rockets. Batum scored five points in just 2:39 on the court in the final game of that series.

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Transaction History
  • June 26, 2008
    Drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 1st round (25th pick) of the 2008 NBA Draft.
  • June 26, 2008
    Traded by the Houston Rockets to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey
  • July 7, 2008
    Signed a rookie multi-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers
  • July 1, 2012
    Signed a four-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers
  • June 24, 2015
    Traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Charlotte Hornets for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh.
  • July 7, 2016
    Signed a five-year contract with the Charlotte Hornets
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
An early-season elbow injury and late-season Achilles injury limited the veteran to 64 games during his 10th season. While he was still able to provide all-around production -- 11.6 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 threes, 1.0 steals -- each of those categories, except for steals, represented his lowest marks since joining the Hornets in 2015-16. Optimistic Fantasy owners could chalk up the down year to injuries and the presence of Dwight Howard. Pessimists could point to the fact that Batum is turning 30 and hasn't shot better than 42.6 percent from the field since 2013-14 -- what are the odds he’s getting better? Regardless, Howard’s departure without significant replacement should vault Batum’s usage up to the levels we saw during previous campaigns with Charlotte, where he posted 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.9 threes and 1.0 steals per tilt.
Batum has quietly been one of the best all-around wings in the league over recent seasons, as he continues to stuff the stat sheet at ease. Batum is averaging 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.0 steal and 0.5 blocks in his two seasons with the Hornets. His consistency is incredible too, as all those averages are within 0.2 of one another in that two-year span. In addition, this is a guy who rarely misses games, as he has played at least 70 games in five straight seasons, while averaging at least 34.0 minutes per contest in each individual year. Despite being a solid two-way player, Batum has some room for improvement with his three-point shot. He's a career 35.7 percent shooter from distance, so after shooting just 33.3 percent in 2016-17, Batum should be in line for a bounce-back effort. While Batum is unlikely to make an All-Star team in his current role, he's quietly one of the most valuable players to his team and is usually a solid mid-round guy in Fantasy drafts with his ability to fill up multiple categories across the stat sheet.
Coming off of an uncharacteristically poor 2014-15 campaign in Portland, Batum returned to form last season, averaging career highs in scoring (14.9 points per game) and assists (5.8), to go with 6.1 rebounds per game. The 27-year-old is among the NBA's most diverse two-way threats and joined Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Draymond Green as the only players to record at least 1,000 points, 400 assists, 400 rebounds and 100 made treys last season. Entering 2016-17, Batum's role is expected to remain fairly constant, though the return of a healthy Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will push Batum back to shooting guard after spending much of last season at small forward. That could result in a slight dip in rebounding, but should also enable Batum to relax a bit more defensively, given Kidd-Gilchrist's standing as an elite all-around defenders. A career 44.2 percent shooter from the field, Batum has room to improve after converting only 40 percent of his attempts in 2014-15 and 42.6 percent last season. The same goes for his three-point efficiency, which dipped to 32.4 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively, over the past two seasons.
In his seventh season, Batum averaged 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 34 minutes per game through 71 regular season contests with the Blazers. Struggling with an array of ailments, including knee contusions, a torn ligament in his shooting wrist, and lower back pain, the French forward sank only 40 percent from the field, 32 percent from downtown, and 86 percent from the free-throw line. While Batum still produced in multiple categories and his free-throw percentage reached a career-high in 2014-15, his field goal and three-point percentages were both career-lows. As far as his shooting woes went, things didn't get much better in the postseason, where he posted 14.2 points on 34 percent from the field, 8.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 0.2 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 42 minutes per game through five games versus the Grizzlies. With the Blazers opting for youth in the post-LaMarcus Aldridge era, the team shipped Batum to the Hornets, where he figures to slide into the lineup alongside the team's assumed starting trio of Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Al Jefferson. Entering the final year of his contract, Batum turns 27 in December. If he is able to stay healthy and mesh well with his new teammates, he could be a decent bounce-back candidate in 2015-16.
Supplying a career-best 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game in 2013-14, Nicolas Batum's other primary counting stats nonetheless suffered. On offense, his output (13.0 points on 1.8 treys per contest) marked lows among the last three seasons, which may have been spurred by an avulsion fracture to his left middle finger that he suffered in early January and which required the use of a splint for the rest of the season. On the other end of the court, the 6-8, 200 pound Frenchman failed to average at least one steal and one block, a benchmark he'd accomplished the previous two seasons, instead tallying 0.9 swipes and 0.7 swats per game. However, in addition to the aforementioned fractured finger, Batum gutted out various maladies to log the first full 82-game schedule of his six-year career. With an all-encompassing game already at his disposal, the righty stated a desire to develop his left hand and hone his post game during the offseason. After netting 75 percent of his shots at the the rim last season, an expansion of his offense down low would do wonders for a Blazers team that ranked third in points per 100 possessions with 112, as well as relieve the burden placed upon dynamic duo LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard.
All signs pointed to a breakout season from Batum last year, and he delivered the goods, thanks to an 8.1 jump in minutes per game, settling in among the league leaders at 38.5 mpg. He has the look of a poor man's Kevin Durant, with shooting percentages of .423/.372/.848 last season that led to 14.3 points and 2.3 three-pointers per game. He will be a popular pick in drafts not just because of his sweet stroke, but his defensive counting stats that are aided by his ridiculous wingspan. Last season he averaged 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, and with a jump from 1.4 assists per game in 2011-12 to 4.9 apg in 2012-13, Batum established himself as a true eight-category contributor. The one worry here is that The Trail Blazers made some nice moves in the offseason to improve their abysmal bench from last season. Continued improvement from Victor Claver and the addition of Dorell Wright will likely mean that Batum won't see quite as many minutes in 2013-14.
Batum, who was a restricted free agent this summer, will be back with the Blazers to try and improve upon his solid campaign from a year ago. He is something of a poor man’s Kevin Durant, with his lanky frame, smooth jumper and impressive shooting percentages. He averaged 13.9 points, 4.6 boards, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block per game last season– all career highs. His real value comes from his efficiency. He shot 45 percent from the floor, 39 percent from three, and 84 percent from the line last year. Batum will be 24 this season and could improve, making him a high-upside pick on draft day.
Batum was a big sleeper candidate going into last season, and he rewarded his owners by posting career-high averages in nearly every category. He played the majority of the season as the Trail Blazers’ starting small forward, averaging 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 three-pointers, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.1 turnovers in 33 minutes of action over 67 games as a starter. Nonetheless, Batum will probably be moved back into a bench role to start the season, due to the Blazers’ acquisition of Gerald Wallace at last year’s trade deadline. (Wallace was forced to the four last year with Marcus Camby and Greg Oden out, and LaMarcus Aldridge moving to center). The Blazers traded Rudy Fernandez to the Mavericks on draft day, opening up a few minutes off the bench, but Batum probably won’t match last year’s numbers without a significant injury to a starter. If Brandon Roy and Wes Matthews get healthy, Batum could get squeezed even further.
An essential ingredient in constructing a successful fantasy team – just as with constructing a successful actual team – is in paying not for what a player has done, but for what he's likely to do. Will Joe Johnson be one of the best players in the NBA during his age-34 season? Probably not, but that's how the Atlanta Hawks will be compensating him – and as a result, they're likely to have problems in the 2015-16 season. Sometimes it's easy to pay a player what he's worth: LeBron James will likely be worth the money for awhile. Other times, it's necessary to be aggressive in the present for a future payoff. Owners in this last frame of mind would do well to consider Nicolas Batum. The young (he turns 22 in December) Frenchman offers a broad base of skills, including three-point shooting (40.9% last year on 3.6 attempts per game), steals, and blocks (0.7 per game of each while averaging only 25 minutes). There are two concerns for Batum this year: getting into games and, once he's there, staying in them. Batum missed 45 games last season, most of them coming as he recovered from surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Reports at press time suggest the shoulder is no longer an issue. As for the question of playing time, the Blazers last season had a logjam at the three, giving minutes to Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw, Rudy Fernandez, and Batum himself. For various reasons, none of those first three players will be in Portland this season, making Batum a good bet to log consistent run should he remain healthy.
The 20-year-old Frenchman was a surprise starter for the Blazers last year. While he only played 18 minutes per game, Batum provided the starting unit with solid defensive play and the ability to hit an occasional three. As his scoring average would indicate (5.8 ppg), Batum doesn't figure into the offensive game plan much, but he should see more shot attempts as his long-range game improves.
More Fantasy News
Available Wednesday
FCharlotte Hornets
February 11, 2020
Batum (illness) will suit up for Wednesday's game against the Timberwolves, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer reports.
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Out Monday with illness
FCharlotte Hornets
Illness
February 9, 2020
Batum (illness) is officially listed as out for Monday's game against the Pistons.
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Out with illness
FCharlotte Hornets
Illness
February 8, 2020
Batum will miss Friday's game against Dallas due to illness.
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Ousted from rotation
FCharlotte Hornets
February 4, 2020
Batum (coach's decision) didn't see the court in Monday's 112-100 loss to the Magic.
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Back in bench role
FCharlotte Hornets
January 28, 2020
Batum is coming off the bench Tuesday against the Knicks.
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