Veteran forward Nicolas Batum and the Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly agreed on a brand new two-year deal, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes. Despite Batum declining his player option on June 21, there was always belief he would always return to the Clippers.
Batum opting out of his contract always seemed in both his and the Clippers’ best interest, as it allowed the two sides to come to agreement on a longer-term contract. Batum rejoins a Clippers team that is well-equipped to compete for the franchise’s first-ever championship.
The Clippers have put forth an offseason that’s prioritized locking up their key free agents and extending valuable rotational players. In early May, Robert Covington agreed to a two-year extension. On June 28, the Clippers and center Ivica Zubac came to an agreement on a brand new three-year contract extension.
Batum, 33, is coming off a season in which he averaged 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals on a 60.8% True Shooting Percentage. In two seasons with the Clippers, Batum has played in 126 out of a possible 154 games while averaging 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals, as well as shooting 40.2% on 3s.
With Batum back in tow, the Clippers appear to have cemented their main rotation for the upcoming season as superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George return to action to lead a team that reportedly will now include five-time All-Star John Wall. The upcoming season likely represents the Clippers’ best chance at a championship in their franchise history.
Batum has started 92 out of the 126 games he’s played as a member of the Clippers, with the team going 54-38 (.587) in those contests. The upcoming 2022-23 season will be Batum’s 14th in the league.