The day of Nicolas Batum retiring is still far away, but when it does happen, it’s not going to be with the Portland Trail Blazers or any other NBA team. He plans to return to France, and play his final season (or more) with Le Mans Sarthe Basket, the club he played for before going to Portland.
Batum is only 26, so it’s going to be a while before he ends up with a team like Le Mans, who might be relatively successful in French basketball, but aren’t even a minor European power and offer a sentimental return, nothing more. If Batum is to be ejected out of the NBA earlier than expected, don’t be surprised to see him playing for one of the richer European clubs before returning to the city on the Sarthe River.
If they want me, I’d love to finish my career in Le Mans. I won’t end my career in the NBA. I think I’ll play a couple of season in France, in a club where I’ve already played for, like Le Mans.
Batum actually played for a very short while for Nancy while awaiting the NBA lockout to be resolved in 2011, but didn’t stay once play resumed in the United States. There have been mentions of Batum possibly being traded by the Blazers this offseason or during next season as he enters the final season of his contract.
Batum did have a terrible 2014-2015 season. The Blazers did make the playoffs and if it wasn’t for the Wesley Matthews injury things could have ended later than just the first round, but personally he took a step or two backwards offensively, averaging just 9.4 points per game (his lowest since his rookie season), shooting a career low 40% from the field.