Nicolas Batum is a professional NBA basketball player from France. He currently plays in the small forward or shooting guard position for the Houston Rockets. Batum is known for executing one of the best chase-down block, and is a highly effective defensive player.
Considered as one of the top players in Europe, DraftExpress.com ranked Batum as 17th among the international players born in 1988. He was twice named as Most Valuable Player in international championships for under-18 divisions.
Batum started playing professionally for a French league team, Le Mans in 2007. At the Nike Hoop Summit in the same year, he delivered an exceptional performance. He declared for the 2008 NBA draft and was signed to the Houston Rockets before being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.
In the 2008 to 2009 Season, Batum came off the bench and became a starting player in place of Travis Outlaw. One of the highlights of his season was his clutch three-pointer which helped the Trail Blazers win against the New Jersey Nets.
During the 2009 to 2010 Season, a torn right shoulder cartilage made him unable to play for the first 45 games. He returned to the court on January 25, 2010 and delivered a great performance, including scoring more than 30 points for the first time in his NBA career.