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Nicolas Batum: Charlotte Trusted Me, Allowed Me to Play My Way

Nicolas Batum gave a positive review of his new squad in Charlotte after the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum is not likely to return to the Rose City any time soon.

In a season-closing interview with the Charlotte Observer, Batum told writer Rick Bonnell, "It was a pretty cool year. First time I got to play like I want to in eight years in the NBA."

"When I came here they let me know they wanted me to be one of the (top) two options with Kemba Walker," Batum said. "I liked that. I like that they trusted me."

Batum expressed a desire to stay in Charlotte, citing among other reasons that his teammates were not worried about putting up numbers in a contract year. Batum's contract expires after this season.

Batum averaged a career-high 14.9 points this season for the Hornets; his first with the team after being traded from Portland last off-season in exchange for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh. Batum also averaged 5.8 assists and 6.1 rebounds.

Over his seven season career in Portland, Batum averaged 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists.  Batum is notable for being the only Blazer to be a member of the five-by-five club, achieving the stat line on December 16, 2012 against the New Orleans Hornets (11 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 5 steals, 5 blocks).  It was the 15th recorded five-by-five in NBA history.

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