In a mailbag piece for The Charlotte Observer, Rick Bonnell argues that despite the frustration voiced by fans over the contract of Nicolas Batum, who’s still owed $76.7MM in guaranteed money over the next three seasons, the Hornets should not even consider waiving the swingman.
That’s because under the new CBA rules, Batum’s salary would continue counting against the Hornets’ cap even after his release, as there is no longer an Amnesty provision (link) incorporated into the new CBA. Moreover, the Hornets had more issues this season than Batum.
Instead, Bonnell suggests that Batum’s contract, although troublesome, is not “untradeable”, and that the Hornets should be able to trade Batum away if they are willing to take on some other bad contracts in return.
And in another article for the Observer, Bonnell opines that Batum doesn’t necessarily need to be traded. Rather, the Hornets’ next head coach should look to resurrect Batum’s game, which may mean letting him handle the ball more as arguably the team’s top ball-mover and facilitator.