The Portland Trail Blazers traded shooting guard Nicolas Batum to the Charlotte Hornets for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh on June 24.
The Portland Trail Blazers are trading shooting guard Nicolas Batum to the Charlotte Hornets.
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Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first broke the news on June 24. He reported on Wednesday the Blazers are finalizing the details of the trade that will send Batum to Charlotte for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh.
Sources told Wojnarowski the deal will be finalized on Wednesday evening.
Another league source confirmed the Batum trade to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne on June 24.
Portland is finalizing a trade to send Nic Batum to Charlotte for Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2015
Portland has been trying to trade Batum in the past few days, per Yahoo! Sports. In Vonleh, the Blazers acquire a 19-year-old forward with good athleticism. Henderson gives the Blazers insurance at the 2-spot with Arron Afflalo opting out of his deal.
Wojnarowski points out the Hornets were hesitant to trade Vonleh. They initially dangled power forward Cody Zeller, but eventually decided to part ways with Vonleh in the end.
Trading Batum with the impending departure of unrestricted free agent power forward LaMarcus Aldridge in mind was not a first step in a rebuilding process for Portland, per Wojnarowski.
League sources say Aldridge knows about Batum's trade to Charlotte, which gives the Blazers an additional $3 million in cap space, per Yahoo! Sports.
Shelburne says Portland now has a total of $43 million in salary-cap space to try to acquire big-name players and free agents this offseason, including Aldridge.
The Hornets acquire an athletic wingman in Batum, who fits the mold of a player they've been seeking recently, per Wojnarowski. The Blazers are trading him while he has still one year left on his deal.
The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell stresses Hornets general manager Rich Cho wanted better perimeter shooting, and he gets that with Batum in tow.
The Hornets finished dead last in the NBA in three-point shooting in 2014-15 with a shooting percentage of 31.8 percent. Batum has shot 36.3 percent from three-point distance for his seven-year NBA career, per Bonnell.
Batum is the prospective starter at the shooting guard spot for the Hornets next season, per The Charlotte Observer.
As for the 2015 NBA draft on June 25, the Hornets are said to be highly interested in Wisconsin Badgers power forward/center Frank Kaminsky with the ninth overall pick. Charlotte owner Michael Jordan has "great interest in him," per Wojnarowski.
Now that the Hornets have acquired Batum, Bonnell says "this deal eases the pressure to do something such as draft Kentucky's Devin Booker." Moreover, it paves the way for Charlotte to draft somebody like Kaminsky.
Other rookies which are high on the Hornets' radar are the Arizona Wildcats' Stanley Johnson and the Kentucky Wildcats' Devin Booker, per Yahoo! Sports.
In another development, a league source told Bonnell on Wednesday the Hornets have reached out to the Oklahoma City Thunder in an attempt to acquire shooting guard Jeremy Lamb for Matt Barnes.
Shelburne's sources confirmed the impending acquisition of Lamb for Barnes, whom the Hornets expected to release.
Charlotte traded shooting guard Lance Stephenson to the Los Angeles Clippers for Barnes and center Spencer Hawes on June 15.
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