The Brooklyn Nets have to hit free company aggressively this offseason, as there are a number of holes on this staff that ought to be plugged with the addition of some veteran free brokers. In the event that they wish to assault their points on protection, they need to take a really lengthy take a look at Los Angeles Clippers ahead Nicolas Batum.
Batum has had one of many weirdest profession arcs in latest NBA historical past. Some of the underrated gamers within the league in his time with the Path Blazers, Batum left Portland for an enormous contract with the Hornets. He was routinely ranked as one of the crucial overpaid gamers within the league in Charlotte, and his scoring manufacturing dipped to only 3.1 factors per recreation.
Batum stepped on the accelerator with the Clippers, as he paired distinctive defensive versatility with an improved 3-point shot to turn out to be among the best function gamers on a Clippers staff that made the Convention Finals for the primary time in franchise historical past.
Bleacher Report has already tabbed Batum as a possible free agent that may put the Nets excessive subsequent season. Whereas Batum appears to have loved his time in Los Angeles, an opportunity to compete for a convention favourite in Brooklyn may very well be sufficient for him to lastly resolve to commerce in LA for New York.
Nicolas Batum might match properly with the Brooklyn Nets.
Batum’s rebounding and help numbers have been just like what he did throughout his closing 12 months in Charlotte, however he pumped up his scoring as much as 8.1 factors per recreation from 3.6 in 2019-20. His capturing splits improved from 35% from the ground and 29% from 3-point vary to 46% total and 40% from past the arc.
Batum’s worth, nonetheless, lies in his protection, as he was capable of make himself the sixth-most versatile defender within the NBA by the use of guarding all 5 positions. It was Batum who helped a shorthanded Clippers staff go into Utah and take down the mighty Jazz.
Tyronn Lue put Batum on the heart spot, making a lineup stuffed with shooters that drew Defensive Participant of the Yr Rudy Gobert out of the paint and restricted his effectiveness. Brooklyn had some success with smaller lineups final 12 months, and Batum may very well be the perfect small-ball heart or versatile energy ahead.
Whereas Blake Griffin was capable of present loads of capturing and dunking after he arrived in Brooklyn, he isn’t an amazing defender at this level in his profession, and doubtlessly focusing on Kevin Love if he will get purchased out wouldn’t do a lot in the way in which of enhancing that protection. Batum received’t guard 7-footers all recreation, however he might add some wrinkles.
The Nets had a ton of success with bringing in former Kevin Durant teammate Jeff Inexperienced final 12 months, and his potential to area the ground and line up anyplace helped Brooklyn choose groups other than past the 3-point line. Why not add one other ring-chasing veteran in Batum? Steve Nash appears to love gamers who characteristic that fashion of play.
In fact, the Nets should fend off competitors from the Clippers. As Bleacher Report mentions, even the Jazz might look to persuade Batum to commerce allegiances after he helped knock them out of the postseason.
If Sean Marks is keen to pony up the amount of cash Batum desires, the Nets may be capable of add a revitalized three-and-D ahead that may line up on the wing in larger lineups, play some lockdown protection on gamers a lot larger than him, and shoot the lights out.
With restricted monetary flexibility, due to the contracts sported by their three stars, signing gamers like Batum will assist hold this staff afloat.