Nicolas Batum opting out of Clippers contract

The Clippers re-signed Nicolas Batum last year to a relatively cheap 1+1 Non-Bird Exception contract that looked designed to allow him to get a big raise once the team held his Early Bird Rights this offseason.

Batumi is taking the next step in that apparent plan by declining his $3,328,530 player option for next season.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

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The Clippers can re-sign Batumi for the Early Bird Exception (projected to be worth $50 million over four years). That deal projects to have an $11 million starting salary – obviously way more than Batum’s player option salary – plus a multi-year guarantee for the 33-year-old.

Though that’d raise LA’s luxury-tax bill even higher, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has proven his willingness to spend to maximize the roster. And Batumi maximizes the roster.

Batumi is a versatile frontcourt player – someone who can defend multiple positions and even play small-ball center. He fits nicely with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, both switching defensively and keeping the ball moving and spotting up to create space offensively.

More on the Clippers

For 47 million obvious reasons, John Wall picks up option with Rockets Report: Kyrie Irving ran second practice after Nash finished his last season Report: Kyrie Irving and Nets at impasse; Lakers, Knicks, Clippers

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