Although Nic Batum is getting ready to enter free agency, the small forward said that he would still like to stay with the Charlotte Hornets. And, given his current status with the team, there's a strong possibility that he will continue playing for Charlotte next season.
Like the rest of his teammates, Batum is disappointed with the loss the Hornets suffered at the hands of Miami Heat during the first round of the playoffs. This is one of the reasons why he wants to stay with the team.
"We should be playing tomorrow [in the Easter Conference semifinals] and we're pretty mad about that," he said according to the Charlotte Observer. "So this is unfinished business."
Aside from this, Batum had a great year after the Hornets acquired him from the Portland Trail Blazers. And, because of his performance, he has become one of the most sought-after free-agents in Charlotte, along with Al Jefferson, Marvin Williams, Courtney Lee and Jeremy Lin. He even became one of the key members of coach Steve Clifford's offense.
"When I came here they let me know they wanted me to be one of the [top] two options with Kemba [Walker]," Batum said. "I liked that. I like that they trusted me."
"It was a pretty cool year," he added. "First time I got to play like I want to in eight years in the NBA."
Since the team seems to favor Batum more than the other free agents in the roster, it's probably safe to say that the Hornets will work out a deal with the free agent for next season. But then again, given his performance as a professional player, other teams may be looking to snatch him out of Charlotte.
This means the decision to remain with the Hornets or join another franchise will solely rely on Batum.
His other teammates, particularly Lin, on the other hand, will most likely leave the team next season. Various reports have already indicated that the point guard is not happy with how the team treated him this season. Specifically, he wants to join a franchise where his talents will be greatly utilized by moving him up to the starter position.