There is a good news as well as bad news for Filipino basketball fans.
The good news is that Nicolas Batum will not suit up for team France when Gilas Pilipinas met the French squad in its first schedule game for FIBA 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. That will be an additional relief for Gilas for sure.
The bad news is, we will miss to see him play infront of our eyes as this is the only chance for most Filipinos to see these NBA players play a non-exhibition game in the Philippines.
“He’s in our roster but he won’t play. Contract concerns. He also won’t play in our next match versus New Zealand (on July 7),” said Ruddy Nelhomme, France Assistant Coach.
Nic Batum just agreed a 5-year deal with his current NBA team, the Charlotte Hornets which is worth $120 million. The said contract is unavailable to get signed until July 7 as per the league’s rule.
Other notable French national who are not available during the FIBA 2016 OQT are Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert.
Nicolas Batum was part of the France Team that won the Bronze medal in FIBA 2014 World Cup. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets via the 2008 NBA Draft as their 25th pick then later traded to Portland Trail Blazers.
On June 2015, Batum was sent to Charlotte Hornets for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh trade. In his first year as a Hornet, Batum‘s scoring went up to 14.9 ppg his current career best.