Nicolas Batum will be out 8-12 weeks after tearing a ligament in his left elbow, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical:
Charlotte's Nicolas Batum has suffered a torn ligament in his left elbow and will miss 8-to-12 weeks, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 5, 2017
Batum suffered the injury in Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Detroit Pistons. An initial report from Queen City Hoops suggested it could be season ending. Shams’ tweet brings it down two or three months, which is actually something of a relief.
The Hornets are blessed with being in the Eastern Confrence which is mostly a comedy of errors at this point so they should be able to weather this loss and still meet their playoff aspirations. It may well set them back far enough where they barely scrape in, giving them a tougher matchup in the first round and making it unlikely they steal a series.
The biggest issue with losing Batum is that he was likely to be the team’s de facto point guard on all lineups where Kemba Walker is on the bench. The team’s backup point guard rotation is suboptimal at best.
Michael Carter-Williams, signed in the offseason to fix the team’s backup point guard issues from last year is dealing with reoccurring knee issues and has not been a quality NBA point guard in several years while healthy. Malik Monk was not a point guard in college. Julyan Stone was not in the NBA last season.
So the bench unit might be an eyesore for two or three months, but on the disaster scale all things considered this ranks somewhere below calamitous. It remains to be seen who will step up in Batum’s absence. How does this affect your outlook on the coming season for the Hornets? Who are you expecting to step up and fill the do-it-all void left by Jolly St. Nic? Let us know in the comments and we can be sad about it together.