NBA Free Agency: Nic Batum Will Reportedly Not Return to 76ers

NBA Free Agency: Nic Batum Will Reportedly Not Return to 76ers Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It appears Nic Batum will not be returning to the Philadelphia 76ers next season, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

The Sixers acquired Batum in the trade sending James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers at the beginning of the 2023-24 season. Batum proved to be a capable role player in Philadelphia. The French native averaged 5.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 39.9% from 3-point range last season.

Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer in the weeks leading up to free agency reported Batum was among the “free agents the team would most like to re-sign.” It will be difficult for the Sixers to replace his mixture of outside shooting, defensive versatility and passing on the roster. Sixers fans will remember Batum for his 20-point performance carrying Philadelphia to a play-in tournament victory over the Miami Heat.

While the Sixers would have liked to bring Batum back, there are a few potential reasons why he will not be returning to Philadelphia. The Sixers are gearing up to sign nine-time All-Star Paul George in free agency, a move that would take up most of their salary cap space. If Batum received an offer higher than the veteran minimum from another team, the Sixers would likely be unable to match.

Batum has also reportedly been contemplating retirement from professional basketball. He has yet to announce his decision. Whether Batum’s exit from Philadelphia is due to signing with a different team or his retirement from the NBA, his future is reportedly not going to be with the Sixers.

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