The 2019-20 season was the worst of Nicolas Batum’s career by far. He appeared in just 22 games and averaged 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. He shot 34.6% from the field and 28.6% from deep. In short, it was a disaster.
Batum’s effectiveness as a player has declined sharply in each of the last three seasons after peaking as a 15/6/6 player in 2016-17. Waning confidence has led to a dwindling usage rate that bottomed out at 9.4% this season, making him one of just eight players league-wide to play at least 500 minutes and have a usage rate less than 10%.
The Hornets offense played significantly better with Batum on the court, despite his menial individual stats. He connected the offense with his savvy, even if he disappeared into the background far too often. He also put noticeably more effort into the defensive end of the court and on the boards than he had in previous seasons. But his play and his long-term status with the team did not justify him earning more minutes. There were too many better and more important players on this roster.
After getting the starting nod for the Hornets international game in his home country, Batum didn’t see another minute of game action. That trend will likely continue on into next season as the Hornets ride out the final year of his contract. Nic deserves credit for handling his diminishing role as professionally as possible, and that matters. I’ll give him extra credit for that, though I’m sure few other Hornets fans will.
Final Grade: D-
What grade do you give Nicolas Batum for his 2019-20 season?
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