Bulls Interested in $120 Million Wing: Insider

Nic Batum

Getty Images Nic Batum

NBA free agency is fast approaching and the Chicago Bulls are expected to be a team to watch this offseason. First, the Bulls will try to re-sign wing Zach LaVine when he becomes a free agent on June 30.

What LaVine decides could ultimately end up shaping what the Bulls’ offseason will look like. Reports have also suggested that the Bulls are interested in trading for Jazz all-star center Rudy Gobert

With all the rumors that have been swirling, it seems pretty clear that the Bulls are looking to improve their roster this summer. If the team is able to re-sign LaVine there are a number of different routes they could take to improve the team.


Interested in Versatile Wing

On Wednesday Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Clippers forward Nicolas Batum will be testing free agency and the Bulls are a possible suitor.

 Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum is declining his $3.3 million player option to hit free agency, but it is widely expected that he will re-sign a new two-year deal, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

It is anticipated that the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz will have strong interest in trying to pry away the 14-year veteran from Clipper Land, sources said.

But the Clippers are in the driver’s seat, sources said.

This season Batum started 54 games for the Clippers while averaging 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He shot 46.3% from the field and 40% from the three-point line.

Batum is a 14-year veteran that has averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in his career. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 25th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft but was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Batum spent the first seven years of his career with the Blazers but was traded to the Charlotte Hornets after the 2014-15 season. After his first season in Charlotte, Batum signed a five-year $120 million extension in July of 2016.

Batum stayed with the Hornets until he was waived by the team in November 2020. Shortly after he signed with the Clippers and has played there since.


Batum’s Fit in Chicago

The addition of Batum could definitely help the Bulls in a couple of weak areas. Chicago’s three main needs this offseason are rim protection, three-point shooting, and defense.

Batum is a career 36.3% shooter from three-point range and has shot over 40% in the last two seasons with the Clippers. Batum has also always been regarded as a versatile player on both ends of the floor which means he could help the Bulls on defense as well.

With the Clippers Batum was also heralded as a locker room favorite which means he’ll likely fit in and be a positive addition to whatever team he signs with. All of those contributions would be welcome on this Bulls team.

The Bulls will have a lot of competition to sign Batum as Haynes noted but if they can free up the money and pry him away from the Clippers he could be a big addition in Chicago.

 

 

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