Report: Lakers, Celtics and Suns among teams expected to show 'strong' interest in Nicolas Batum - Lakers Daily

Report: Lakers, Celtics and Suns among teams expected to show ‘strong’ interest in Nicolas Batum

Nicolas Batum Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA offseason is just getting started and rumors regarding player acquisitions are already in full swing.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been the subject of several rumors already, but most of them have to do with whether or not they will be able to trade guard Russell Westbrook.

On Wednesday, a new report came out that had nothing to do with Westbrook. Instead, the report detailed the Lakers’ apparent interest in veteran wing Nicolas Batum.

Batum has played for the Los Angeles Clippers for the last two seasons. He averaged 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game in the 2021-22 season.

“It is anticipated that the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz will have strong interest in trying to pry away the 14-year veteran from Clipper Land, sources said,” Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports reported.

Though the Lakers have interest in Batum, Haynes did add that the Clippers are perceived to be in the driver’s seat to retain the French national.

Last season with the Clippers, Batum was a consistent starter as the team dealt with a number of injuries to key players. He started in 54 of the 59 games he appeared in.

Heading into the offseason, the Lakers have a lot of question marks that they will have to attend to. Though the team’s new coaching staff is in place, what the franchise will do with its roster is still unclear.

Last season, the Lakers entered the year hoping to contend for another NBA title. What transpired instead was one of the more disappointing and embarrassing seasons for an NBA team in recent memory. The Lakers failed to make the playoffs entirely.

Clearly, the primary goals of this offseason is to try to put the team in a position to make sure that level of failure is not repeated next season.

Based on this report, it appears as though the team’s front office believes that Batum could be a part of that equation.