NBA rumors: Nicolas Batum to re-sign with Hornets; play for France in Olympic qualifiers

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Nicolas Batum of France is a doubtful player for his country in the upcoming FIBA Rio Olympic Qualifying Tournament which will be held from July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.

Nicolas Batum is set to re-sign for the Charlotte Hornets in the upcoming free agency, according to sources. The Hornets star was expected to be one of the most sought-after free agents this summer.

It’s bad news for the Los Angeles Lakers, though. The team had plans of pursuing the forward in free agency. A recent report published in suggests that the Hornets are pretty close to reach an agreement based on a long-term deal.

“However, it is understood that the French player and the Hornets will quickly agree to terms on a new deal and that could give France enough time to obtain insurance for Batum and allow him to take part in some of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament games.”

The Hornets forward bounced back in style after leaving the Portland Trail Blazers by averaging career-highs of 14.9 points and 5.8 assists per game in the past season. The Hornets also reached the playoffs and bowed out to Miami Heat in the first round of the postseason in seven games.

For the Lakers, they needed a small forward desperately to replace the retired Kobe Bryant. DeMar DeRozan is likely to stay with the Toronto Raptors. So, the Lakers were eager to add the versatility of Batum in the wings.

It’s good news for France that Batum will reach an agreement quickly with his incumbent team. He is expected to feature in the Olympic qualifier tournament for France in some of their important games.

Photo Courtesy: HugoTHornet/Wikimedia

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