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July 01, 2024

Report: Nic Batum leaves Sixers, signs two-year deal to return to Los Angeles Clippers

Nic Batum's rumored departure from Philadelphia has come to fruition.

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Batum 7.1.24 Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Nic Batum is returning to the Los Angeles Clippers.

After a report on Sunday evening indicated that Sixers free agent Nic Batum was going to leave the team, we now know where he will play next season: Los Angeles, where he returns to a Clippers franchise that helped him revive his career before trading him to Philadelphia at the beginning of last season. The deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, is for two years and $9.6 million.

Those numbers are particularly notable because they are below the figures of the deal the Sixers reached with free agent center Andre Drummond on Sunday. While the Sixers clearly coveted Drummond's rebounding and stability at the backup center position, it is hard to imagine they would have prioritized him over Batum, who likely would have been their starting power forward entering 2024-25.

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The fact that Batum, 35, took fewer dollars than the Sixers gave Drummond seems to indicate that the veteran wing was simply not interested in returning to Philadelphia — at least relative to his excitement about returning to Los Angeles.

Batum was an incredibly valuable two-way player for the Sixers, whose shooting, passing and extremely versatile defense will all be major losses for a new-look team that has added Paul George. He will always be remembered for his epic two-way masterclass against the Miami Heat that almost single-handedly gave the Sixers a Play-In Tournament victory.

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