Report: Clippers F Nicolas Batum to decline player option

Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum will decline his $3.3 million player option and become a free agent, ESPN reported Tuesday.

The 33-year-old veteran may not be going anywhere, however, as the report indicated there is mutual interest in reaching a new deal in July.

Batum started 54 of his 59 games in 2021-22 and averaged 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He shot 40.0 percent from 3-point distance and was third on the team in both steals (58) and blocks (42).

Over 14 seasons, Batum has averaged 11.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 915 games (806 starts) for the Portland Trail Blazers (2008-15), Charlotte Hornets (2015-20) and Clippers.

The Houston Rockets selected the Frenchman in the first round (25th overall) in 2008 and traded him to Portland on draft night.