The Minnesota Timberwolves finally stepped up to the plate and signed restricted free agent Nicolas Batum to a 4-year, $46 million offer sheet. It’s now Portland’s turn to make a decision on the young forward. Per the AP: “The Minnesota Timberwolves are about to find out just how serious the Portland Trail Blazers were when they said they would match any offer for restricted free agent forward Nicolas Batum. The Timberwolves submitted a four-year, $46 million offer sheet signed by Batum on Sunday, giving the Blazers three days to match the offer or let him leave without compensation. The deal has incentives that could push the total value over $50 million, a hefty price for the 23-year-old swingman who has averaged 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in his first three seasons in the league. The Trail Blazers acknowledged that they did receive the offer sheet Sunday night and said they would have no further comment until a decision has been made. If Portland general manager Neil Olshey is to be believed, that decision was made a long time ago. As soon as the free agent market opened July 1, the Timberwolves set their sights on Batum, a versatile, 6-foot-8 shooter with an established reputation as a fine perimeter defender. Team president David Kahn and coach Rick Adelman think Batum is a perfect fit for their more open offensive system and can grow alongside rising young stars Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. ‘We’re not in control of the situation,’ Kahn said on Friday, alluding to the Blazers’ leverage with restricted free agency. ‘I’m more of a glass-half-full person. You hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We’re prepared for every option.'”
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