Let me preface this by admitting that I am a big Batum supporter. His dunks over Gasol and timely 3's during the Blazers playoff years brought much needed inspiration to the Blazers. He can shoot you back into a game but isn't going to shoot you out of it like a Crawford or Felton. His rebounding has improved each of his 4 seasons and so have his blocks and steals.
Having said that...the aggression seams to have lapsed as he has become more finesse since his shoulder injuries. Is he worth 12 million as a 3rd option on a championship team and is he even a 3rd option on a championship team? In my opinion...a BIG "NO". His contract would be an albatross much like Roy's contract when he was not producing up to his contract warranted. Much has been debated about how much Nic is worth to the team. Would you have traded Nic for Kawai Leonard at the trade deadline? Probably not, but what about now? Spurs probably would have done the deal but now they have a player that has surpassed Batum in production and is on a rookie contract for the next 3 years.
So let's look at another unrestricted free agent that isn't getting much of a mention here on Blazers Edge as an option.
Here are Nic's numbers throughout the first 4 years of his time as a Blazer.
Now let's look at said Unrestricted Free Agent
As you can see this player has improved in nearly every category each year as minutes increased. This year after the all-star break when given the starters job he averaged nearly 17pts and 9 rebounds while shooting 48% from 3pt range and 6ft's per game. Do those numbers warrant 12 million? Debatable but closer numbers to another Blazers Edge favorite Andre Iguodala at what can be had for half the price. His efficiency rating is + 17.48 compared to Batum's + 13.93. He had 20 double doubles compared to 13 for Aldridge in 2011-12and only 2 for Batum.
Do you know who I am talking about yet? Yep...It's the Night Stalker! Erson Ilyasova!
So do you over pay for a fan favorite who may never live up to his contract or pay for efficiency and actual proven numbers? I believe Erson can be had at 7 to 8mil over 4 years roughly 32mil compared to the rumored 45-50mil that has been offered to Batum. Batum is 23 and Erson is 25 years old. Who you got Blazers Edge?