Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 9:40 am  |  10 responses

Blazers Intend to Keep Nicolas Batum Despite Trade Offers from Minnesota

Portland GM Neil Olshey made the Blazers’ position on the awkward Nic Batum situation crystal clear (he’s not going anywhere), despite a new trade offer from Minnesota. Per the Columbian and Star Tribune: “Portland restricted free agent Nicolas Batum is in France right now, but the forward was on record Tuesday saying that Minnesota was his preferred destination once the season began. And when Blazers general manager Neil Olshey was asked about Batum’s desire, he terminated all chances at becoming a future spokesman for the Land of 10,000 Lakes. ‘I guess he’s into mosquito bites and frostbite,’ Olshey said. Batum’s agent, Bouna Ndiaye, has been anything but subtle about broadcasting his client’s aspirations of becoming a Timberwolf, going so far as to say that Nic was unhappy in Portland. Batum denied that claim, which was probably smart, because Olshey said Wednesday that he still intended to match any offer sheet Minnesota would tender, even though the Wolves’ offer reportedly is for $45 million over four years. ‘I don’t believe in letting talent walk out the door,’ Olshey added. And apparently, Ndiaye doesn’t believe in negotiating. At least not in Batum’s case. Olshey said that the agent refused to sit down with him and work out a deal, choosing instead to let Batum test the free agent market. [...] The Timberwolves accelerated their contentious pursuit of Portland restricted free agent Nicolas Batum on Wednesday, moving toward reaching a sign-and-trade arrangement for the 23-year-old swingman or offering Batum a painfully rich offer sheet that the Trail Blazers would have three days to match. ESPN the Magazine reported the teams were discussing a deal that would send two first-round picks and a veteran small forward from another team to the Blazers for Batum. The report said the Wolves will sign Batum to that offer sheet — Batum’s agent last week said the Wolves agreed to a four-year deal that will pay at least $45 million — if a trade agreement wasn’t reached by Wednesday night. The report didn’t identify the veteran small forward, but it is believed to be Chicago’s Kyle Korver, whose presence would fill Batum’s spot in Portland, give the Blazers the corner shooter they’ll lack and whose one-year contract would give the Blazers salary-cap flexibility next summer.”

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  • pposse

    good, please keep him so minnesota stays out of the playoffs this year and K Love gets pissed and walks during free agency. He will walk his way to the chicago bulls, i see you fam lets goo!

  • http://www.slamonlije.com keep it real

    Portland is so dumb. They need to agree to that sign and trade and try to get wes Johnson or d.Williams in return plus those picks

  • Bravo


  • RunNGun

    Hmm… pay $50M for 4 years for a player on rebuilding team… makes perfect sense. /ROLLS EYES It’s inevitable that Batum will be traded and the Wolves will stay on my League Pass this year. If Love left after his contract was up, he wouldn’t go to Chicago. No, he’d go to LAkers; kid was born to be a LAker.

  • pposse

    No, he will go to the Bulls, he has a high regard for derrick rose and will want to contend. Kobe only has so much left in the tank, the better situation will be the Bulls, u seen that beard he had? He was born to play in the windy city.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    I couldn’t see him going to the Chi. He doesn’t seem to care even a little bit about defense. Not sure if Thibs could make him buy into the system.

  • startown

    I like him as a player, but I think we(the Wolves) are fine without him. Derek Williams is slimming down to play small forward, people have to remember he was a rookie last year. He will be good

  • http://www.nba.com Shadojoker

    Keep Korver Chicago unless you trade him to Philly for Iguodala

  • LA Huey

    I thought they’d let him walk after they missed out on Hibbert. Doesn’t make sense

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    if portland can det d willialms they should just do, instead of keeping a guy they know doesn’t want to be there