Jul 01

Haynes: Timberwolves Make 'Serious Offer' To RFA Nicolas Batum

By caseyholdahl Posted in: freeagency, NicolasBatum

I've been hearing for a few months that the Timberwolves were interested in acquiring restricted free agent Nicolas Batum, and early this morning, according to Chris B. Haynes of Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Minnesota has taken steps to do just that.
Portland Trail Blazers restricted free agent forward, Nicolas Batum, has been contacted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and what is being called a "serious offer," has been made and discussed and the two sides will meet in Minnesota later today to deliberate on it further, according to a source very close to the situation.

The detailed figures that are being mulled over is a four-year, $45-50 million deal.
Haynes also notes Batum will meet with the Hornets (no surprise there considering Batum's relationship with New Orleans head coach Monty Williams) and the Raptors.

I had thought Minnesota's interest in signing Nic might after cooled after the Timberwolves traded the No. 18 pick in last week's draft to the Rockets (which, somewhat coincidentally, was used on Portland product Terrence Jones) in exchange for Chase Budinger, but sounds like that's not the case. The money is about what I would have expected.

The Timberwolves do have an interesting young core with Kevin Love,  Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic playing in head coach Rick Adelman's offensive-oriented system. They did not extend the qualifying offer to Micheal Beasley and Wes Johnson has been considered somewhat of a disappointment in his first two seasons, so it's not hard to understand why Minnesota would have a run at Batum.

The Timberwolves have also reportedly met with Brandon Roy, who Batum has great fondness for, about playing next season. Bill Bayno, who was close with both Roy and Batum (Bayno took over working out Batum after Williams left for New Orleans) joined Adelman's staff at the start of last season, which might have something to do with Minnesota's new found interest in current and former Trail Blazers.

Neil Olshey, and the organization in general, has been steadfast in saying keeping Batum would be a top priority. A formal offer can't be made until July 11, after which the Trail Blazers would have three days to match of Batum accepted Minnesota's offer, or that of any other team.


  1. This feels like a "dammed if we do, dammed if we don't" situation. If we sign Hibbert, I really want to keep Nic around to be apart of a Hibbert/Aldridge/Batum frontcourt. That has potential to be the best in the league. At the same time, if we sign both players our hands our tied for a long time financially and is that Big 3 good enough to go all the way?

    Also, if we don't sign Hibbert, is Batum making 12.5 mill a year too much as our 2nd option? And who would be the starting small forward if we let Nic walk? This is one time where I don't envy Neil Olshey. This decision is going to be TOUGH if Nic signs that offer sheet.

    by DHawes22 on 7/1/2012 10:44 AM
  2. I don't see how PDX is able to sign Hibbert at max offer, and then sign Batum for $11-12 million. If Olshey can do it, it would be financially binding, but it would be a great Big 3 nucleus.

    by basketball1367 on 7/1/2012 11:22 AM
  3. The ONLY way Nico should get ~$12.5/yr. is IF we do a sign & trade that ships him out for Nikola Pekovic (already awesome & a better shooter than most realize!) AND Derrick Williams (this guy WILL b awesome trust me!). THAT would b an awesome trade that I'd do ALL day long! :) Those 2 guys r young & fill roles we REALLY need to fill (the ESPN trade machine is down right now but L8r when it's working I'm gonna check to c how all the $ matches; might have to do a 3-team deal w/ Fakers to get this 1 done :(

    by Simpson on 7/1/2012 11:37 AM
  4. I don't think this is a sign and trade scenario. Either the Blazers are going to match, or they'll get nothing in return. Minny would really have no reason to engage in a trade, especially if it meant sending off two young players.

    by caseyholdahl on 7/1/2012 11:43 AM
  5. @ casey, actually... they do IF they REALLY want Batum (IF I were Minny I wouldn't do it ;) AND Gasol (again, I gotta check out the trade machine when it's working to c if any part of this is even is possible; the Gasol thing COULD b a smokescreen too though ;).

    by Simpson on 7/1/2012 12:53 PM
  6. Paul has deep pockets if we want to overpay Nico at least we have his Bird rights and the choice. Small forwards are easy to find for less money. Elliot Williams is our up and coming star but he doesn't get much ink. Batum has not been allstar calliber since the lockout but he's a great piece. He didn't win a lot of games putting the team on his back like a Lebron, etc...I love his game but he's replaceable. True point guards and centers are not though. I think we need to take a breath and see what Neil really has up his sleeve...personally I think it's a small part of a bigger plan. Offering Hibbert big bucks keeps Indiana from offering big bucks to Nico...worst scenario, Indiana matches for Hibbert, we match for Batum and pick up Collison from Indiana who will then be cash strapped. I smell a three team deal that solves all our needs with one big move.

    by riverman on 7/1/2012 1:20 PM
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