One of the more forgotten stars in recent time Nicolas Batum has developed the reputation of a player getting paid a fortune and not producing much on the court, over the past 2 seasons his numbers have been terrible but I do recall how good he was while Lamarcus Aldridge was in Portland and how versatile he was on the court at 6’9. Judging from what I saw in the bubble from the Lakers they have no need for Danny Green and sure he could have a bounce back season this coming year but I don’t see the need to keep him around with as good as Caldwell-Pope was against Miami in the Finals. Caldwell-Pope showed me everything I felt the Lakers needed in the backcourt, a lightning quick guard who can chase around a dynamic wing like Bradley Beal,Stephen Curry,Klay Thompson, or James Harden and give him trouble scoring. He was clutch and came through when most needed on the defensive side and knocked down a huge 3 to close out the Miami Heat in the Finals.
Back to Nicolas Batum, I felt the Lakers lacked a forward aside from LeBron who could get their own offense. Markieff Morris was decent and helped spread the floor knocking down 3 pointers throughout the playoffs but he is not much of a facilitator or someone who is going to be creating offense for himself or others. Nicolas Batum would give the Lakers someone who could play the point forward role for the Lakers while LeBron James takes a breather and Batum who will help create shots for Anthony Davis as well. Anthony Davis is a lethal scorer and elite defender but he must be fed and the Lakers only had two play-makers on their roster in Rajon Rondo and LeBron James. I would say Alex Caruso but I felt he played more as a 3 and D player for the Lakers and impacted the game with his defense more than anything. Nicolas Batum’s contract is expiring so it will come off the books for the Lakers going into next summer, but the guy is 31 years old and is a poor man’s LeBron on the court who can impact the game as a shooter,play-maker,rebounder,and defender which is vital in today’s league.
As far as the Charlotte Hornets go it wouldn’t hurt to add a veteran like Danny Green who could help mold young guards Devonte Graham and Malik Monk two of Charlotte’s core pieces. The Hornets exceeded everyone’s expectations this past season, I knew James Borrego would make an impact on the Hornets. He held the team accountable last season and showed no preference to the veterans in the locker-room, who ever competed the hardest through 48 minutes received the most playing time. Danny Green is a 3-time NBA Champion and could help vault the Hornets into the playoffs next season so long the Hornets make the right pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. If possible I would draft Isaac Okoro with the 3rd pick, he is big enough to play the shooting guard and small-forward position at 6’6 and looks like he could be a poor man’s Jimmy Butler at worst which is not bad at all. Assuming he improves his ball handling ability he could be a force on both ends of the floor but he would be the pick I would make. Not to mention he is exceptional on defense which bodes well for a defense first coach like James Borrego who is running the show in Charlotte at the moment.
To conclude this is far from a big trade as Danny Green and Nicolas Batum are practically role players specially Batum who is no longer what he once was in Portland alongside Brandon Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge. I do believe he can be the starting small-forward for the Lakers next season and if he remains healthy with a floor raiser like LeBron James on the Lakers, he could dial it back a couple years he is 5 years younger than LeBron James who just came off an MVP season. So long the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis in LA the Lakers will have a shot at a title and I don’t believe Nicolas Batum would make things any worse, he is a high IQ forward who is unselfish and would fall line behind LeBron and AD. The Hornets are in a rebuilding stage,they gave Terry Rozier $57 million dollars and are trying to establish a culture at the moment in Charlotte. Young teams with no veterans in the locker-room is a recipe for failure, just ask Trae Young who made that clear to the Atlanta Hawks’s front office not too long ago. I think this trade benefits both teams, make it happen.