LA Clippers, Nicolas Batum agree to two-year deal, source says

ByOhm Youngmisuk ESPN logo
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

After rejuvenating his career last season in Los Angeles, Nicolas Batum is staying with the LA Clippers by agreeing to a two-year deal, a source confirmed to ESPN on Monday.

Batum will sign a two-year non-Bird deal with a player option in the second year, according to a source. Batum was an important and versatile veteran player for the Clippers last season.

After Batum was waived with the stretch provision by Charlotte in 2020, the veteran forward signed with the Clippers in hopes that they had a similar story and goal to redeem themselves for a poor season in 2019-20.

Like the Clippers, Batum enjoyed a bounce-back season, helping LA reach its first Western Conference finals. After averaging 3.6 points and playing in just 22 games in his final season in Charlotte, Batum averaged 8.1 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 40.4% from behind the arc in 67 games as a Clipper.

But beyond the statistics, Batum established himself as a critical glue guy for the Clippers. He was willing to accept any role whether starting or coming off the bench, and the Clippers used his versatility to defend multiple positions.

Batum said he not only surprised critics who thought he was finished in Charlotte but even himself with his bounce-back campaign.

"A little bit, yes," Batum said of surprising himself. "I mean, kind of because when you start like listening all the noise outside, then you say, 'Maybe I am done, for sure.' And you come back and you're playing that well and the team, you're playing for something. I was kind of surprised like, 'Oh, maybe I'm not that bad, actually.' So I was kind of surprised sometime and maybe people were wrong about me, and I was wrong about myself maybe."

Batum's agreement to return to the Clippers was first reported by The Athletic.