Hornets Acquire Batum From Portland In Exchange For Henderson And Vonleh

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Hornets have agreed to a trade that will send guard Gerald Henderson and power forward Noah Vonleh to the Portland Trail Blazers for small forward Nicolas Batum, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday night.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the trade has not yet been approved by the NBA.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the trade.

The 6-foot-8, 200-pound Batum spent the last seven seasons with Portland. He started 71 games in 2014-15, averaging 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists while battling a nagging wrist injury.

The Hornets finished last in the NBA last season in 3-point shooting and are hopeful Batum can help them in that area. The 26-year-old Batum is a career 36 percent 3-point shooter, although he shot a career-low 32.4 percent last season.

From France, Batum has started 428 regular-season games and 27 postseason games. He has averaged 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his career and gives the Hornets some needed playoff experience.

Charlotte had hoped Lance Stephenson would fill that role last year, but he was a major disappointment and the team traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers last week for Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes.

Batum is entering the final year of his contract and will make $11.8 million this season.

It’s possible the Hornets will start Batum at the two-guard spot with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at small forward.

Henderson is the longest-tenured player on Charlotte’s roster, joining the team as a first-round draft pick in 2010 out of Duke.

He had opted to pick up the final year of his contract last week and will make $6 million this season.

Henderson, 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, started 72 games last season and played in 80, averaging 12.1 points and 3.4 rebounds. He shot 33.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Henderson’s scoring output dropped off last season after he averaging at least 14 points in the previous three seasons. Henderson has started 292 games during his NBA career.

The 6-foot-10, 215-pound Vonleh was considered a project when the Hornets took him with the No. 9 overall pick in 2014 draft out of Indiana.

Coach Steve Clifford repeatedly said the 19-year-old Vonleh wasn’t ready for the NBA and that he wouldn’t see much action until he had time to develop. Vonleh saw action in 25 games last season, most of those late in the season. He averaged 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.

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