With the off-season approaching closer and more teams seeing their season ended in the playoffs, questions surrounding certain players are sure to intensify as teams look to take the next step towards title contention.
One team disappointed with their playoff showing was the Portland Trail Blazers who were ousted by the Memphis Grizzlies. The team is expected to be active this off-season and one player who could be shopped around is small forward Nicolas Batum, according to Jabari Young of CSNNW.com:
He’s scheduled to make around $11.8 million for the 2015-16 season, which is the final of his four-year contract. There have been rumblings the Blazers could look to move Batum this offseason, maybe around draft time, where GM Neil Olshey promised the team would be “very active.”
Even Batum admitted that he had an awful season this year. His scoring, rebounding, and assists all dropped and he shot a career-low from the field and the three-point line. With LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, and Wesley Matthews both being unrestricted free agents next, the Blazers could be looking to shake everything up this summer.
If Batum were to come available, the Lakers would make sense as a potential destination. The team has a glaring hole at the small forward position, and even after a down season, Batum would still represent a massive upgrade over the Lakers’ small forwards the last couple of years.
The fact that Batum would be an expiring contract next season would make things easier for the Lakers as they would maintain their cap flexibility for the 2016 off-season, but with so many things going on with the Lakers this summer, it is anyone’s guess as to what will wind up happening.[divide]
Lakers 2015 Exit Interviews: Mitch Kupchak