The Charlotte Hornets will have a lot of decisions to make regarding their free agents this offseason. According to the latest rumors, the Hornets’ number one priority will be Nicolas Batum and not Jeremy Lin.
Hornets general manager Rich Cho told the Charlotte Observer that the team’s top priority this season will be re-signing Batum to a new contract. In his first season in Charlotte, Batum averaged 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists despite suffering a couple of injuries.
“Nic is a huge piece. He is our No. 1 offseason priority. He knows that. We told him that in our exit interviews. We love having him here, thought he did a great job this year. He had a few injuries, but overall he did a great job at both ends of the floor. He also did a great job in the locker room,” Cho said.
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The 27-year-old Frenchman mentioned during a media conference that he wants to talk first with the Hornets once the free agency period starts on July 1. “I want to talk to them (the Hornets) first, for sure. July 1 will be a crazy day, but will Charlotte be my first call? Yes,” he said via ESPN.
Besides Batum, the Hornets other free agents Troy Daniels, Jorge Gutierrez, Tyler Hansbrough, Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee, Marvin Williams, and Jeremy Lin, who will opt of his contract. According to USA Today, the Hornets’ sixth man this season will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason but wants to sign a longer deal with Charlotte.
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In a post on his official Facebook page, the 27-year-old guard thanked the fans in Charlotte and addressed his plans in free agency. Lin came in seventh in this season’s Sixth Man of the Year voting after averaging 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists off the Hornets bench.
“For free agency, I will seek out every opportunity that gives me the greatest chance to be the best player I can be. I believe I’m just getting started. I have more to give and more to accomplish,” Jeremy Lin wrote.
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