Evan Fournier (Orlando) and Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets) are not going to move during the trading season. The two French players therefore opt for stability, while they could test the market, open since Monday as part of the exchange of players. By lifting the “player option”, they ensure a final year whose salary has been defined in advance. However, these sums are substantial. Set at $ 27.13 million (22.9 million euros) for the coming season, Batum has one of the fifty biggest salaries in the league. After a successful first season with the Hornets, in 2016 he signed a five-year contract worth $ 120 million (€ 101 million).
Since then, his performance has declined significantly and last season, annoyed by injuries, he played little (22 matches), turning at 3.6 points on average. Certain of not being offered such emoluments, he therefore prefers to stay in the young team of Charlotte, where his experience at 31 can be useful, if he goes up the slope. Fournier wondered what he was going to do for a long time. Because unlike Batum, his progression is constant and his place in the Magic, since his extension in 2016, for an amount of 85 million dollars (71.8 million euros) over five years.
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His insured income for the coming season thus amounts to 17.15 million dollars (14.5 million euros). Orlando’s second leading scorer last regular season (18.5 pts on average), the 27-year-old was less prolific (12.8 pts) during the elimination in the first round of the play-offs against Milwaukee. It could nevertheless legitimately put itself on the market, but the economic difficulties encountered by franchises in this period of the coronavirus pandemic are not conducive to making big offers. So Fournier opts for security. He and Batum will be free from any contract at the end of the season which begins on December 22.