NEW YORK. Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicholas Batum is ditching his $3.3 million player option but is expected to re-sign a new two-year contract, league sources told Sportzshala Sports.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz are all expected to be very interested in trying to snatch the 14-year veteran from Clipper Land, the sources said.
But the Clippers are in the lead, sources say.
The free agency period begins June 30th.
Batum, 33, has played a vital role with the Clippers in the past two seasons, regaining his versatility on both sides of the ball. He has become a favorite in the locker room, whose unselfish play and ability to make point shots are a perfect match for the franchise’s cornerstones Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Batum played 54 games with the Clippers last season, averaging 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in his second season in Los Angeles. He’s shooting 43.7% in his career after spending time with the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Hornets before joining the Clippers in 2020.