Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 9:40 am  |  21 responses

Nicolas Batum Hopes Blazers Don’t Match $45 Million Offer from T-Wolves

Nic Batum and his agent appear to be determined to bolt from Portland this summer, but the Blazers aren’t exactly blinking. Not even when staring down the offer the Minnesota Timberwolves made to the restricted free agent. Per the AP: “Minnesota agreed to terms with Batum on a four-year, $45 million deal with bonuses that could make the deal worth more than $50 million. [...] As a restricted free agent, the Blazers can match any offer made to Batum. But his agent said on Thursday night that Batum is hoping Portland doesn’t match Minnesota’s offer or executes a sign and trade to get him to his preferred destination. Batum and agent Bouna Ndiaye met with Blazers officials Thursday and informed them that the versatile swingman feels his best fit is in Minnesota. ‘It was a very cordial meeting. There were no hard feelings,’ Ndiaye said. ‘So Nicolas basically talked about his four years with the Blazers and he expressed that maybe it was time for him to look at a place where he could be more happy.’ The Blazers have been adamant that they will match any offer for Batum and weren’t interested in trading the 23-year-old Frenchman. Ndiaye said Batum has great respect for the Blazers and their fans, but believes playing for Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and alongside point guard Ricky Rubio and forward Kevin Love is the best situation for him. Batum has averaged 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds over four seasons with Portland, part of the reason the Blazers see him as such a valuable piece moving forward. ‘We appreciated the face-to-face meeting to get our message across,’ Blazers general manager Neil Olshey told The Oregonian. ‘And that message was that we intend to match any offer and we will not facilitate any sign-and-trade scenarios.’”

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  • RunNGun

    Anybody who had the Wolves on League Pass last year could see that Ricky Rubio made some crazy passes to the open man. He just makes everyone around him better, so I don’t blame Batum for leaving. He’s a good cutter, has a good handle on the ball, is an above average defender, and can hit that three from the corner; perfect fit for Rick Adelman’s corner offense. Make it happen, Kahn!

  • logues

    this would be a great addition for the wolves. depending on how roy and rubio come back, adding roy and batum we’ll for sure make the playoffs

  • pposse

    i just want to see Batum dunk all over Pau Gasol again and put up the number three when he runs back on defense

  • ryanford

    Batum would be an all star if he stayed in portland

  • thecomputerdude

    Batum is very underrated as a player. Minnesota is going to be scary.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @thecomputerdude. Except the word is that the Blazers are going to match any offer, so Batum will likely not play for another team. Unless he makes a big mess like what Dwight did…

  • CPAfan

    Batum isn’t going anywhere, Portland will match this offer in less than the 3 days the Blazers have to match. Portland hates Kahn from back in Kahns days as a journalist and this is more personal between Paul Allen and Kahn and less about exercising the Larry Bird rights pushing the Blazers over their cap.

    Sad actually, but if a miracle would happen and Batum becomes a T wolf they should be only 1-2 players short from competing with OKC on a yearly basis.

  • Groves

    Minnesota need a shooting guard, not another forward

  • ash

    Damn that sucks for him.

  • ash

    Y resign a player that doesn’t want to play for you?

  • http://slamonline.com LLC#12

    Yeah ash, I always think it must be a bit uncomfortable at training camp when everyone else on your team knows you wanted to leave them but were forced to stay..

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @ash, cause if it was that easy, there would be no point of restricted free agent status. And everyone would just play for the Lakers.

  • FnF

    Even if you don’t want to play for a team, most players find a way to keep it professional. Other potential employers take notice if a player doesn’t want to play simply because he is unhappy. This happened to Gortat a few years ago. He kept playing even though he no longer wanted to just be Howard’s backup. Batum also had the option of not signing the offer sheet, playing out the year, and then catch a cab to any city he wanted to play for… but he didn’t.

  • Snapback4Me

    yeah restricted free agent rules are stupid

  • Basketball_iQ

    @FnF … yeah but what if someone over there stepped up this season in the forward position and played very well? Batum just lost an option. Not saying he ant ball ANYWHERE but maybe not for the same money next year… its best to attack opportunity when it knocks. Maybe they wont re-sign him… been a few days since i first seen this.

  • Basketball_iQ

    the purpose of restricted free agency is to toss your name around a bit and see how much your services could be potentially worth. could be used as leverage against your/other teams.
    Once you sign a contract, youre owned. Thats not stupid but if you’ve been a good employee, the owner&management should be cool enough to let you go but maybe for something in return (if im an owner).
    Heck, why not if you own something valuable and someone else expresses interest in it, BARTER.

  • Fresh Boirdee

    So if your current team matches then you have to stay with that team?

  • http://minusthebars.blogspot.com don

    People are tripping @ Batum’s contract but the guy is a perennial All-Star.

  • @don hes a perennial scrub who is respected for his defense but ranks 387th in points allowed…Also I think Batum is just using the wolves as leverage to drive the cost up and wouldn’t mind staying in Portland.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Fresh: Short of a sign and trade, yes. And this is way too big of a contract for an unproven player. I hate seeing cash thrown at “potential.” Potential to me is a crazy overrated “attribute.” Brandon Jennings was said to have the most potential of his draft class and Kevin Love wasn’t supposed to improve. Brandan Wright had limitless potential while James Harden was simply a safe pick. Potential is one of the biggest lies in the league.

  • startown

    This guy has put up good numbers, he would make the Wolves a solid playoff team, and he is still young