It doesn’t look like the Los Angeles Lakers will land a meeting with Kevin Durant when free agency gets underway later this week, though they may have a chance to woo another talented small forward: Nicolas Batum.
According to Brad Turner from the L.A. Times, Batum is “mulling over options, including talking with Lakers” and will fly from his home country of France to the USA tomorrow.
In 70 games last season, Batum averaged 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 35.0 minutes per game, and would be a nice addition to the Lakers’ roster.
Free agent small forward Nicolas Batum mulling over options, including talking with Lakers, source. He's flying from Paris to US tomorrow.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) June 29, 2016
At 27, Batum is still young but has heaps of experience, both in the league and at the international level, so he’d instantly become a veteran who the young Lakers players would be able to look up to.
However, there will be a lot of interest in Batum, so the Lakers will certainly have their work cut out for them. His current team, the Charlotte Hornets, have made it clear that they want to re-sign him and can offer him the most money, though as he’s an unrestricted free agent he will be able to go where he pleases.
Free agency begins at 9:00 PM PST on Thursday.