Hornets Acquire Nicolas Batum from Portland for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh
June 24, 2015 – Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has acquired forward Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for guard Gerald Henderson and forward Noah Vonleh.
“Nicolas Batum is a very talented player whose all-around game will help our team in a variety of ways,” said Cho. “He is a quality defender and a solid outside shooter who brings versatility and playoff experience. We are excited to add him to our wing rotation.”
The 6-8 Batum was initially selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by Houston before having his rights traded to Portland as part of a three-team trade on draft night. He played in 481 games for the Trail Blazers, starting 428, with career averages of 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 30.8 minutes. For his career, he has shot .446 from the field (1929-4329), .363 from beyond the three-point line (751-2071) and .834 from the free-throw line (781-937). Batum also appeared in 34 playoff games for Portland, averaging 10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 30.0 minutes, while shooting .434 from the field (132-304), .347 from beyond the three-point line (52-150) and .775 from the free-throw line (31-40).
Last season, Batum saw action in 71 games, starting all 71. He averaged 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 33.5 minutes. He shot .400 from the field (240-600), .324 from beyond the three-point line (100-309) and a career-best .857 from the free-throw line (84-98). In five playoff games, he averaged 14.2 points, to go with playoff career highs of 8.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 41.8 minutes.
Henderson spent six seasons in Charlotte after being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. In 391 games, he averaged 12.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27.5 minutes, while shooting .443 from the field (1783-4029) and .794 from the free-throw line (995-1253). He also played in four playoff games, averaging 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 29.8 minutes.
Henderson played in a team-high 80 games with 72 starts last season and averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 28.9 minutes per game. He shot a career-high .848 from the free-throw line (184-217), ranking 26th in the NBA, and made a career-best 45 three-point field goals.
Vonleh was selected by the Hornets with the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. As a rookie last season, he appeared in 25 games with averages of 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 10.4 minutes. He shot .395 from the field (30-76), .385 from beyond the three-point line (5-13) and .692 from the free-throw line (18-26).