NEW YORK — Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum is turning down his $3.3 million player option to hit free agency but is expected to re-sign a new two-year deal, league sources told Yahoo. Sports.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz are expected to have strong interest in trying to get the 14-year veteran out of Clipper Land, sources said.
But the Clippers are in the driver’s seat, sources said.
The free agency period begins June 30.
The 33-year-old Batum has played such a vital role for the Clippers the past two seasons, reestablishing their versatility on both sides of the ball. He has become a locker room favorite, whose selfless game and shooting ability are a perfect fit for franchise cornerstones Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Batum started 54 games for the Clippers last season, averaging 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds, in his second season in Los Angeles. He is shooting 43.7% for his career after spending time with the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Hornets before joining the Clippers in 2020.