Trail Blazers trade Batum to Hornets for Vonleh, Henderson
The Portland Trail Blazers traded small forward Nicolas Batum to the Charlotte Hornets for Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson, the teams announced Wednesday.
The move was not designed to be a rebuilding move for the Blazers despite the impending free agency of forward LaMarcus Aldridge, a Yahoo.com report said. Aldridge was reportedly made aware of the trade before it occurred.
Batum averaged 9.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists for the Blazers this past season. Portland finished 51-31 and earned the Western Conference's four-seed in the NBA playoffs, but lost its first-round series to the Memphis Grizzlies 4-1.
Vonleh, who despite Portland's current intentions could be a building block for the future, averaged 3.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game last season for the Hornets. The 19-year old Indiana University product was selected by Charlotte with the No. 9 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
Sources: Blazers didn't make deal as first step of rebuilding. Aldridge was aware of trade, and Blazers did deal independent of free agency.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2015
Henderson, who averaged 12.1 points per game during the 2014-15 season for Charlotte, was the Hornets' fourth-highest scorer last season.
Charlotte finished 33-49 last season and missed the playoffs for the 11th time in the past 13 seasons.
The deal between the two teams is set to be finalized Wednesday evening, according to the report.
- Will Green