As we are a little over 24 hours away from the start of the 2016 NBA free agency period the Lakers are linked to nearly every player you can think of, and for valid reasons as they have the most cap space in the league.
The team is in desperate need of veterans to pair along with their young core of Russell, Clarkson, Ingram, and Randle. One free agent that will be on many teams’ wish lists is Charlotte Hornets small forward, Nicolas Batum.
After arguably the best year of his career last season Batum will more than likely be a max contract player as he was a multifaceted cog in Charlotte’s playoff run. Brad Turner of the LA Times reported the veteran wing may just listen to what the Lakers have to pitch this offseason.
Free agent small forward Nicolas Batum mulling over options, including talking with Lakers, source. He's flying from Paris to US tomorrow.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) June 29, 2016
This is exciting because in the wake of the news that the Lakers will not get a meeting with the player every team has their eye on, Kevin Durant, the team might be able to bring in the second best small forward in this class.
Batum has a polished, all-around game and can provide leadership for the Lakers which is something they severely lack. Last season the French wing was able to compile a stat line of 14.9 points, 5.8 assists, and 6.1 rebounds while shooting just under 35 percent from deep.
It is still unknown how serious Batum will think about the Lakers once free agency begins on Friday but this is a positive sign as he would be a prototypical player for Luke Walton’s system.
For a list of free agents the Lakers could pursue this summer, click here.
All statistics provided by Basketball Reference.