Charlotte Hornets' forward Nicolas Batum is reportedly out eight to twelve weeks after injuring his elbow in their game against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. Batum is an excellent two-way player that can guard multiple positions and can score if called upon.

The nine-year NBA veteran signed a $120 million over five years contract with the Charlotte Hornets in 2016. Nicolas Batum averaged 15.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.4 blocks while shooting 40.3 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three, and 85.6 from the free-throw line during the 2016-2017 NBA season.

Nicolas Batum's journey in the NBA

Nicolas Batum was drafted 25th overall by the Houston Rockets during the 2008 NBA draft. He was then traded to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a three-team trade.

Batum spent seven seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He started most of his games with the Trail Blazers while averaging 11.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game before he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets in June of 2015 in exchange for Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh.

Nicolas Batum spent the last two NBA seasons with the Charlotte Hornets averaging 15.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.5 blocks.

How does Batum's injury impact the Hornets?

The Charlotte Hornets missed the 2017 NBA playoffs after finishing the season 11th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 36-46. The Hornets were led by All-Star point guard Kemba Walker who averaged 23.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game.

Nicolas Batum's absence will definitely have a major effect on the Hornets' wing defense.

Either Jeremy Lamb or Marvin Williams is expected to replace Batum in the starting lineup.

On June of 2017, the Hornets acquired defensive center Dwight Howard from the Atlanta Hawks together with a 2017 second round draft pick that was used to pick Frank Jackson in exchange for Marco Bellineli, Miles Plumlee, and a 2017 second round draft pick which was used on Tyler Dorsey.

With Nicolas Batum out, the Charlotte Hornets will have to cope with Batum's 15 points per game average while they would have to depend more on Dwight Howard in defense.

The Charlotte Hornets are expected to have a rough start this coming NBA season; Charlotte hopes to bounce back from last year's disappointing results. Nicolas Batum is expected to return before 2018.