Nicolas Batum has yet to play a single game for his new team, the Charlotte Hornets, but reports alredy are surfacing he is interested in signing with the Toronto Raptors when he hits free agency after the 2015-16 NBA Season.
ESPN's Grantland website reports Batum’s camp has sent feelers to the Canadian squad after his stint with the Hornets. Charlotte acquired Batum, who will be in the last year of a deal worth $11.86 million, in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the 2015 offseason.
Batum becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2016 and will be able to sign with any NBA team without giving the Hornets a chance to match the offer sheet. However, Charlotte will have the ability to vie for his services.
In his first seven seasons in the NBA, all with the Trail Blazers, Batum became one of the most versatile players in the league. In 2012-13, his best statistical year in the league, the Frenchman averaged 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocked shots in 73 games.
Batum has also represented the French basketball national team since 2009 helping his country to the bronze medal in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, gold medal in the 2013 FIBA Eurobasket and silver medal in the 2011 FIBA Eurobasket.
The Raptors are one of the NBA teams with the highest number of international players. Last season, Toronto featured Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira of Brazil, Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania and Greivis Vasquez of Venezuela. In the upcoming NBA season, the team has added Bismack Biyombo of Congo, Corey Joseph of Canada, Axel Toupane of France and Luis Scola of Argentina.