As the holidays bring some hopefully non-COVID cheer (those caps are official, which makes sense. COVID should always be yelled), we can all celebrate some measure of happiness that the NBA is back and games are being played. And with the start of the season, we have actual games to start actualizing what our team does and what we can start to expect. Now, it’s still early yet, of course, but the past couple of days have already revealed some interesting choices available to you right now. A player that has piqued some interest for me thus far is none other than Nicolas Batum.
Now with a recent win against Denver where Batum totaled 13 points (5-8 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT, 10 rebounds, four assists) the timing of this content is a bit unfortunate for both us, myself being the one who started writing about Batum a few days ago, highlighting him as an interesting piece that deserved to be looked at right now, and then you, probably digesting (make everything a food metaphor dot com) this content today, rather than say, some days before Batum achieved his first double-double of the season.
Alas, life isn’t fair, we have a pandemic to prove that, and if that wasn’t enough, I’m all out of bourbon so yes, the world is coming to an end as we know it. This much is for certain. So I know it’s a bit easier to hype up Batum now, I would point out that everything that you could have said about Batum before coming to the Clippers is still true now. The only difference? That’s right folks, the almighty minutes stat. The one stat that giveth and taketh the mosteth. A famous person said that I think. Probably Mike Tyson.
So, as I like to do away with early on, just like your mom (it works, just go with it) the caveats here are plentiful, if not your normal red flags. Let’s get the first obvious knock out of the way, Batum is not new. Dude’s been around in the NBA for a time, a veteran mostly relegated to the basketball bastion of Charlotte the past half-decade, his career has also included time with Portland and the French League.
Considered one of the most talented players in Europe in the mid-2000’s which vaulted him to the NBA during the 2011 lockout. Traded in 2015 to the Hornets for then Gerald Henderson Jr. and Noah Vonleh, Batum showed enough value that year to earn a 120 million, 5-year contract in 2016. But in 2017, injuries began to spiral out of control including a UCL tear, a left elbow contusion, and an avulsion fracture in his left hand in 2019.
Known mostly for his defensive play, the Clippers no doubt saw a multi-category contributor that could further strengthen their core team concepts and provide depth. Themes that the entire Los Angeles franchise gravitates towards in team construction. Based on Batum’s robust history and experience, we know a few things can happen. The defense part of his game will provide a floor of minutes that’s workable. The offense part of his game is balanced, offering points, rebounds, and assists. But the most important aspect that we’ve already touched on is the minutes.
I really liked the idea of Nicolas Batum, since Marcus Morris’ knee situation and the Clippers penchant to load manage, but with Leonard on the mend and Batum now averaging 32 minutes in this young season (he averaged 23 with Charlotte last season), there’s not much to dislike.
Grab now, grab hard, and grab often and see what happens. It’s worked for my love life, and it should work with Nicolas Batum.
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him @jaywrong.