Author: Dawson Haywood
This is a topic that I am more passionate about than I would like to admit. I had always grew up watching the Charlotte Bobcats and even though they sucked I still loved going to games. Rufus was the best mascot to ever walk this Earth and this is not up for debate. Growing from a kid that is in love with a mascot to an adult that actually cares about the success of the team there was always one thing that pissed me off more than my ex-girlfriends. Nic Batum and the ridiculous contract the Hornets gave him.
The 2016-2017 season was the most frustrating season for me as a Hornets fan because we had just made playoffs the year before and all of a sudden went back to our old mediocre ways. I started looking into what I thought would be the best moves to make to make this team a playoff contender consistently and one thing stood out to me... Nic Batum was getting paid Just shy of $22 million.
First off, I would like to note that nobody on that Hornets team deserved more than $20 million besides Kemba Walker. Now granted, Batum was the second highest scorer on the team behind Kemba, but boy could he miss some shots. Since being with the Hornets Batum was consistently had the worst Field Goal Percentages on the team. Most people that had a worse FG% played in just a few games and are likely no longer in the league.
I then did a little comparing to see if we had not signed Batum who we could have gotten, for less. During the 2016-2017 season players like Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and the man who has led two teams to a title Kawhi Leonard were being paid less than Batum. I could continue this list but for the sake of not making this article like a hundred pages long I won't.
It's no secret that Michael Jordan does not like to spend as much money as he can on his players. There's a reason Kemba Walker is with the Celtics. It baffles me that the players he does decide to spend money on can only average us 12.1 points per game. Maybe he saw something in Batum that I just can't see and hindsight is always 20/20. Portland did a good job valuing him at around $11 million a year between 2012 and 2015 but unless your name is Lebron James or Giannis Antetokumpo and you have proven to be a player that can lead a team to playoffs, there is no reason to more than double a player's contract. In 2015 Batum was signed to the Hornets for $120 million over five years.
Batum is now playing for the Clippers for $2.5 million but the Hornets still owe him around $9 million for the next three years. The point is Batum came to Charlotte, secured that bag, and gave nothing in return. Because of Batum the Hornets have been limited to signing players that can actually make the Hornets a better team. The Hornets have been the laughing stock of this league and with the release of Batum, the signing of Hayward and Rozier, the development of Miles Bridges and Malik Monk, and drafting LaMelo Ball this team might actually become a team to watch out for. I call this "The Batum Effect" (Trademark Pending).
This Article is Brought to you by The Heatin' Up Podcast