Based on a minimum recovery time of six to eight weeks, Charlotte Hornets guard Nic Batum figures to miss at least 15 or so regular-season games before returning from his elbow injury.
Jeremy Lamb will start in Batum’s place, but no one player can replace his versatility, passing and organizational skills.
“You can’t replace a Nic Batum; obviously not on the court, but also in the locker room,” forward Marvin Williams said Sunday.
“It’s obviously got to be a collective effort. Jeremy Lamb has had a great training camp. I’m sure (rookie) Malik Monk will step in, as well.”
Other options to pick up some of Batum’s minutes are Treveon Graham (currently out with a hamstring injury) and rookie Dwayne Bacon.
Moving the 6-foot-9 Williams from power forward to small forward occasionally is also a possibility; Williams, entering his 13th NBA season, started his career as a small forward with the Atlanta Hawks.
Using Williams at small forward would be contingent on matchups – he’s not ideally suited to guard dramatically smaller, quicker players. But as coach Steve Clifford said Sunday, that could be a way, in certain situations, to play Williams and his backup, Frank Kaminsky, together.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129: @rick_bonnell