Active LA Clippers secure veteran depth as training camp opens, sign forward Nicolas Batum

The LA Clippers added some needed veteran depth at forward by signing Nicolas Batum on Tuesday.

Batum joins the Clippers after the Charlotte Hornets waived the forward and stretched the remaining $27 million on his five-year, $120 million contract on Sunday. Batum, who turns 32 later in December, gives the Clippers depth behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

The Clippers also announced the signings of veteran point guard Reggie Jackson, guard Ky Bowman, forward Malik Fitts, guard Jordan Ford and guard Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday night, as training camps opened throughout the league.

With Batum, the Clippers hope the 12-year veteran has plenty left in his tank to help offset the loss of Montrezl Harrell and JaMychal Green -- key frontcourt players last season -- via free agency.

Batum averaged 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists over his career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Hornets. However, the 6-9 forward played in just 22 games last season, averaging 3.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

Starting center Ivica Zubac said the Clippers are motivated to prove people wrong and wipe the bad taste left in their mouths from their 3-1 series collapse in the second round to Denver last season.

"I think this year we're coming in, some people don't even put us in the conversation about contending for a championship," Zubac said on Tuesday. "We like that. We like all that negative talk and everything that's around us. We like that challenge. We want to prove that we're that team, that we can do it.

"I think that's going to be the mood all season. Guys are ready, guys been working out since we were out of the bubble and guys are as motivated as ever and we're ready to work. We're ready to step out on the court and compete."