The San Antonio Spurs may be gearing for the NBA playoffs but that doesn't mean they have the future of the team in mind.
According csnnw.com, the Spurs are targeting soon-to-be restricted free agent Portland Trail Blazers' Nicolas Batum.
If that ever came into fruition, Batum, 23, would love to play for coach Gregg Popovich and his structured system.
“The Spurs play well together. They share the ball and do everything the right way,” Batum said. “I don't know what's going to happen with my situation and I'm not worried about it right now. Everything will play itself out.”
Batum, a small forward, is a close friend of Spurs' Tony Parker so that might play a factor into any negotiations the two parties have in the off-season. Add the fact Batum's agent has said he and Batum will want to look to other NBA teams before talking to Portland also helps the Spurs. Furthermore, Batum expected to be drafted by the Spurs in 2008 but instead, he was picked by Houston and then traded to the Blazers.
Moreover, Parker and Batum will be playing with one another this summer at the 2012 Olympics for the French national team and it's possible that experience will help sway Batum into playing with Parker and San Antonio next season.
However, the Spurs are stacked at small forwards next season with Stephen Jackson, Kawhi Leonard, and Boris Diaw (should he exercise his player option for next season which he more than likely will).
Also, the report does state Batum will command between $10-11 million per year and do not forget, the Spurs will more than likely resign Tim Duncan in the offseason who is also a free agent once the season ends. So money might be tight.
Regardless, adding Batum will be a huge addition should it happen. Batum has career averages of 10.2 points, 1.3 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 46% shooting, 37% shooting from the three-point line in 26.2 minutes.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Should the Spurs go after Batum next season?
Damn you Rockets! You're why The Spurs signed RJ. If Batum's gonna command that type of salary then that's too much.
I don't think Batum is what the Spurs need. If we are going to pursue a restricted free agent, it needs to be Hibbert. Blair then becomes expendable and we could package him with either Mills or Joseph for a decent first round draft pick. Either way, I'll put my trust in Bufford & Co.
This makes me wonder if the Spurs think Kawhi could play SG. Leonard and Batum defending the perimeter would be fun to watch. But I agree with everyone else that he's either going to cost too much or the Blazers would match whatever the Spurs would offer.
Batum will be a great addition to the spurs lineup but, $10-11M no way. It would be better for the spurs to draft a rookie and it would be much cheaper. Mike Scott or Kris Joseph comes to mind. But the main concern of the coaching staff and Mr. Buford is to get a big man, maybe kaman of the hornets, varejao of the cavs or humphries of the nets. The spurs have the trade baits in blair, anderson, mils and joseph. There are several teams with multiple 1st round drafts so they may draft zeller, moultrie, jones 111, melo or sacre. The coming draft is deep and full of big men and wingmen. If bonner goes, they can sign davis bertans and if mills and joseph are traded, they may sign nando deColo.
Hollinger's bullet points on Batum are concerning: + Long, slender combo forward with history of shoulder injuries. Lacks strength. + Can catch and shoot. Weak handle and no post game, but can run floor and finish. + Length makes him defensive factor, but has posted awful defensive numbers.
@prestonlegal Question there is... Who would you believe? The Spurs coaching staff/front office or Hollinger?
@AlvinPatacsil History of shoulder injuries is something that can't be disputed. Lack of strength... have you looked at the guy? Weak handle and no post game are both pretty easy to see. Does he often take it to the rack, or create for others? Does he often call for the ball in the post, and then score on someone? So far all we know is someone said the Spurs are interested. How many times have agents made up that rumor to increase interest in their client?
@SpurGuy @AlvinPatacsil I guess Spurguy hasn't heard of Defensive win shares or adjusted plus minus. http://www.48minutesofhell.com/a-stat-for-bruce-bowen
Batum has all the physical tools that Bowen compensated for with working harder and being smarter than his opponent. The fact that Batum doesn't play good defense means that he is either lazy or has a low basketball IQ. For example of Anthony Davis never blocked shots you would look at him and think. Why? That doesn't mean that you have to be a good shot blocker to be a good defender.
If he is lazy, maybe the Spurs could make him care. If it is a basketball IQ issue... you can't fix stupid.
Right now the Spurs have a 20 year old who is already bigger, stronger, and a better player than Batum. How would Batum handle being a backup?
@AlvinPatacsil @prestonlegal hollinger is a knucklehead. his stuff is to numbers based and his "formulas" are so off the wall they are crazy. i mean like his power rankings, yeah spurs are at top and all that but man the formula he created is just ridiculous. i take everything that guy says with a bag of salt not just a grain.
I doubt Batum would enjoy being Kawhi's backup. The only Blazer the Spurs should want is Aldridge.... unless Batum is capable of playing shooting guard.
batum would be huge but he will be restricted and no way does portland let him go unless the offer is ridiculous. this is never going to happen. portland has already stated they are planning on building around batum and aldridge and everyone else is chopped liver.
Just a day after reading that Erazem Lorbek could be heading for the Spurs next season, here is another talented FIBA star addition to the roster (I'm aware he has been in the NBA for 3 years already).
Put it this way, they already have fellow Les Blues teammates in Tony Parker and Boris Diaw so I guess adding him should not hurt as he is a great player on both end of the court.
Keep the International ball flying high Spurs!
@SivanJohn Batum is GREAT, c'mon now!