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

by July 06, 2012

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.'”