Sources: Batum to nix option; eyes Clip return

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LA Clippers forward Nicolas Batum will decline his $3.3 million player option and become a free agent, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

There’s expected to be mutual interest with the Clippers and Batum on reaching a new deal in July, sources said.

In his second season with the Clippers, Batum started 54 of the 59 games he played and averaged 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Batum agreed to a two-year deal with L.A. that included this player option before the 2021-22 season.

He has early Bird rights, and the Clippers can sign him to a contract of up to $10.9 million, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. A new contract has to be for a minimum of two years and cannot include (if signed with early Bird rights) a player option after the first year.

Batum is entering his 15th NBA season. He was waived with the stretch provision by Charlotte in 2020 before signing with the Clippers, and he will earn $8.9 million from the Hornets in the 2022-23 season.

Information from ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk was used in this report.

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