Nicolas Batum Wants to Play in Minnesota, Hopes Portland Doesn’t Match Offer Sheet

by July 08, 2012

The Minnesota Timberwolves will reportedly sign restricted free agent Nicolas Batum to a four-year, $45 million offer sheet once free agency’s moratorium ends on July 11, and according to CSNNW, the swingman is hoping that the Portland Trail Blazers will be kind enough not to match the offer and let him go play in Minny: “‘His mind is not there in Portland. Out of that meeting with the Blazers (on Thursday), we hoped they would allow him to live his dream. The best case scenario is a sign-and-trade and we understand that. Hopefully, Paul Allen would never stand in the way of his dream to play for the Timberwolves,’ is what Nicolas Batum’s agent, Bouna Ndiaye, told Saturday evening. Batum and his agent met with Trail Blazers general manger Neil Olshey, director of college scouting Chad Buchanan, and capologist Joe Cronin on Thursday in an attempt to convince the organization to set him free after they had a pleasant Minnesota visit. The Trail Blazers were unaware Batum was flying in and that was the plan in fear the Trail Blazers wouldn’t grant the visit knowing what he would ask for. Batum wanted to relay the message in person of his desires to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves. … Ndiaye says Batum is enamored with the opportunity of possibly playing with a true point guard in Ricky Rubio and an All-Star player in Kevin Love. They had dinner with Rick Adelman in which he went over his coaching philosophy and style. At that point, Batum was hooked, according to Ndiaye. Another perk was that Minnesota has a direct flight to Paris that is about a seven hour flight.”