The Lakers have a lot of work ahead of them, and several player profiles should interest them this offseason. One of them is none other than Nicholas Batum. Could the Frenchman finish off the Pourpres et Ors? We take stock.
Catastrophe this year with a woeful 11th-place finish in the West (33 wins 49 losses), the Lakers will likely make a lot of changes this summer. Indeed, between a multitude of expiring contracts and dissatisfied players, as well as a coaching change, the franchise has a lot of work to do to rebuild a competitive roster. The goal is obvious: get back on the saddle and fight for the title next season.
Among the main projects, there will be the forward positions but also the winger, since the rotation should be quite depopulated there in a few weeks. Johan Buva from the athletic You’ve already done your research to identify the ideal player profile for Californians. However, this corresponds in all respects to that of Nicolás Batum, who plays for the Clippers’ local rival. And precisely, the journalist included the Frenchman in the list of possible candidates:
In terms of characteristics, I think the Lakers need a player with starting potential who is between 1.99 and 2.01m tall, who can play in any position on the wings, who can defend multiple positions (preferably positions 2 to 4) and that he can make at least 35% of his 3-point shots. These types of players are hard to find, of course, but the Lakers ideally need a player who ticks at least three of those four boxes.
I’ve listed a few names that I find interesting: Bruce Brown Jr, Robert Covington, Nicolas Batum, PJ Tucker, Otto Porter Jr, TJ Warren, and Andre Iguodala. Each of these players marks at least three of these boxes. Covington, Batum, Porter Jr. and a healthy Warren fill all four boxes to varying degrees. Brown Jr. and Tucker are shorter but play taller than their respective heights. Iguodala is not a threat behind the arc.
Nicolás Batum, too expensive for the Lakers?
Brown, Covington, and Batum are probably out of your price range. Tucker has a player option for more than the midlevel exception ($7.4 million vs. $6.3 million), so he should favor Los Angeles over Miami and more money. It doesn’t seem likely. Iguodala loves Golden State. Porter Jr. and Warren are probably the two most realistic options.
Buva makes it immediately clear, Batman could be too expensive for the Pourpres et Ors who still don’t have much leeway, not least because russell westbrook ($47 million in 2022-23) is still there. In addition, the Habs have never hidden that they feel very good with the Sailboats, for whom they have been essential this season. So players like Porter Jr. or TJ Warren, who is cheaper, will surely have to get an offer from them.
Nicolas Batum on the Lakers doesn’t seem like a real possibility at the moment. Clippers fans will welcome this, as a move towards the local enemy would certainly be highly frowned upon.