Jun 30

Wojnarowski: Trail Blazers Meet With Two Free Agents, Intend To Make At Least One Offer

By sarahhecht Posted in: freeagency
The much anticipated quick-start of the 2012 free agency period is upon us. Within hours of opening the first reports of movement by the Trail Blazers began to surface.

Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports reported via his Twitter  account  @WojYahooNBA that General Manager Neil Olshey and company used the early hours of free agency to meet with at least two targeted players.

After Houston tonight, Blazers GM Neil Olshey will meet with Chicago center Omer Asik and make him an offer, sources tell Y! Sports.

To clarify, a Portland contingent is meeting with Omer Asik tonight, but Olshey was meeting with a different player, source tells Y! Sports.

A push by Portland right out of the gates is no surprise with the potential financial pressure of other offers to restricted free agent Nicolas Batum looming—I’ve yet to see any serious reports on Batum, but it’s been widely speculated he’ll be aggressively courted by multiple teams. Though an early offer to Batum could throw a kink into the Trail Blazers spending plans you can still relax, there’s no doubt in my mind the front office is completely prepared for such a situation.

Over the last few days Olshey has stated on multiple occasions Portland has a solid vision for the franchise. A vision that involves smart moves for players who will “move the needle” for the team, not impulse buys as short-term stop gaps. That said, expect to see Olshey execute smart contracts for players who will fit and grow with the core of team led by LaMarcus Aldridge, not overspending for aging veterans.

Asik is a 7-foot Turkish center who was originally drafted by the Trail Blazers in the second round of the 2008 draft. He’s played for the Chicago Bulls for two seasons, averaging 13.2 minutes, 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.


  1. Hey Miss Sarah: things are looking up.
    It is my understandings that teams can make offers to Batum, but they can't sign him until the 10th of July then we have the three days after July 10 to match. If we got a handshake on all our free agents it shouldn't take three days to spend our money. Anyway that is the way it was explained to me.

    by Hg on 6/30/2012 11:40 PM
  2. Sarah I posted this 3 days ago, if I'm right, get me a job at the blazers facility!.. If I have to, I'll play some d against lillard in practice to get him nba ready. Actually i'd prefer season tickets but I'm not going to get too picky:

    Nash's coming to portland. Count on it! think about what neil said after the draft, he wants someone if free agency who isn't just going to come for one season but who can mentor lillard and nolan. he also traded the second round pick for cash considerations, which tells me although we're in rebuild mode he believes that adding a little experience to our depth is going to fuel us, rather than just adding more youth for depth. I count on us signing freeland, possibly claver but who knows if he can transfer to the nba so he's a maybe, Nash, Batum, Hickson, and possibly either Kaman, Thabeet, or Omar Asik.

    Oh and if I need to beef up my resume i called lillard and leonard being blazers weeks before.. But really, I think Asik might be the best unrestricted center in the league so lets see what happens!

    by knorton181 on 7/1/2012 1:10 AM
  3. Sorry knorton181, but Asik is RFA, not UFA & I think Spencer Hawes (who is really UFA) a bit better, than Asik. I think Asik not a real offensive threat (3.3 ppg & 4.7 rpg), and 8m$ is a bit high cost for he (Hawes has 9.3 ppg & 6.6 rpg).
    The other option (Hibbert) I'd like more (he has 11.7 ppg & 11.2 rpg). I would really like to see a Bazers' center, who is an offensive threat (Big Joel, Cambyman, K.Thomas wasn't, just G.O. would be, but... we all know!) - so go for Hawes or Hibbert, rather than Asik!

    by Silent Fan on 7/1/2012 5:30 AM
  4. Hey sarah
    Enjoy your show.. ;
    I've really kept up on the draft & free agents available. Other than G. Wallace & Kaman from N. Orleans (play'd great last year), I really don't see any1 out there who would provide the Energy & Talent level of Hickson...
    They RLY need to do whatever it takes to keep him, unless they can get a Hibbard or G. Wallace type player back, to fill his shoes.... : )

    Another interesting move would possibly be Webster... I always liked him, he shoots lights out, never wanted to leave Portland, & still hasn't reached his potential.. would be an interesting pickup. ;
    Def. need to focus on Big, Tough, High energy guys tho', before guards or other pieces we rly don't need. Strong @ the guard position now.. All stars at Forwards... Need a good big & that all around energy, defensive, hustle guy (like wallace or hickson) who sparks & makes evry1 around them play harder........ ; )

    Go Blaze ~

    by Drummer05 on 7/1/2012 6:06 AM
  5. @Miss Sarah:
    It was puzzling me why the Blazers would offer Hibbert a max contract when it has been said by Indy that they would match all offers; then I realized by offering him a max, (1). they would be calling Indy's bluff of trying to chase off suitors. (2). If they did match they would have less or no money to resign Collison and we could pick him up cheap. I would love Hibbert, but don't think it will happen. Love Collison and can see that happening.

    Remember everybody you heard it first right here on Sarahhecht's blog

    by Hg on 7/1/2012 7:00 AM
  6. Hi all! One thing I'm really happy about is Olshey's trigger finger. This guy knows how to make a decision! Hibbert would be an amazing catch if we could pull it off and I'm glad we're making him the offer instead of an old guard. I agree with Hg about Collison. Underrated pt guard who's ready for prime time and not that expensive. Asik went under the radar but is a vastly improved true center in his prime. Any post guy that Thibideau trains is getting a marquis education in defense. With our current players, we don't really need a center that is offensive minded. We need a rebounder that protects the basket and allows LaMarcus to go to work in the pick and roll. I'm also thinking that Ilyasova would be a great addition to this team for the same reason. I've never had so much confidence in the front office...feels great to let out my breath and watch this unfold. I'm wondering if Olshey isn't working on a three team trade that would incorporate all our needs in one fell swoop. Too bad Batum doesn't want to wait for us to sign agents before accepting other offers but he may very well be elsewhere if we get Hibbert. I think Elliot Williams will surprise some people this season. My problem with Kamen is the same problem I have with guys like Bogut...will they stay on the court or be in crutches on the bench? Personally I'd opt for clean bills of health at the pt guard and center positions.

    by riverman on 7/1/2012 7:24 AM
  7. @ Sarah! Don't know what the budget is at trailblazers TV but is there any chance we could lure Tas Melas to Portland. He's a fan and the basketball jones has 3 great guys there with Kirby and Skeets ...Tas is a great talent with interviews and analysis...just a thought. You guys are a great crew and I think he would be a welcome addition.

    by riverman on 7/1/2012 7:35 AM
  8. @riverman:
    It doesn't matter what is offered to Batum, he cannot sign until the 10th of July and from that time we have the three days, but he can bring the offer to the Blazers attention, and find out for sure if the Blazers will match. if so he can stall on signing the contract unless the suitor puts a time limit on the offer.
    Same is true with Indy, if we put a time limit on Hibbert signing then it will go on the clock as soon as he signs. forcing Indy's hand.
    The only problem that we have to deal with is rather we are willing to go for the amount that is offered because everything else is covered with Bird rights. Plus at 9 to 12 million dollars a whack it won't take us Three days to spend our money.

    by Hg on 7/1/2012 7:40 AM
  9. Attention Miss Sarah:
    I have somewhat of a dumb question to ask It might be better to answer it in mailbag, unless you have the answer.
    In this Scenario, if we did in fact offer Hibbert a max contract of say 10 mil, and that amount goes on the books for three days. at the same time Minny offers Nic a max offer, since we already have our money tied up in Hibbert, and the signing of other free agents; the match we make for Batum would be all over the salary cap with our bird rights; so now what happens when Indy matches our offer for Hibbert. his offer comes off the books would that drop Batum's offer under the books, or could we still sign another player and keep Batums salary as over the salary cap? See I told you it was dumb. but with Batum salary that actually gives us more money to spend. That is why I don't understand making an offer that we are sure Indy will match. Unless it is a smoke screen. Do you even see what I am getting at?

    by Hg on 7/1/2012 7:52 AM
  10. Batum was offered a $45-$50 mil 4-yr contract by Minnesota. I really hope we don't lose him!!

    by newellbrian on 7/1/2012 10:32 AM
  11. I really hope we dont pay him 12.5 a year. If we match that contract he had better be traded. I love batum but he is neither a 20ppg scorer OR 1st team defense. He is not worth 12.5mil. Unless we can get all our ducks in a row and sign him over the cap, then I don't give a damn what you pay him.

    by FoulWeatherFan on 7/1/2012 10:42 AM
  12. $12.5 mil/yr. under any circumstance (he's ~$7mil /yr. guy max bc of his ups & downs) is too much for Batum, let him go for that; I like the guy too but for that kind o' cheddar he better b CONSISTENTLY AWESOME, he hasn't been & won't b :(

    @ Hg & riverman, u guys r in my head! hahaha! Everything u guys have said above, these r my thoughts too! :) EXACTLY right Hg w/ the forcing Indy's hand/calling their bluff! Collison is the secret target ;) Riverman, yup, Askik IS actually our guy (we DRAFTED him & we've been watching him); should Indy not match Hibbert & we get him, things aren't terrible; I just believe he's not THE most efficient use of bang 4 the $ (the $ that we DON'T spend on Hibbert can b used on sweetening a deal to get another BIG time player aka opportunity cost ;); Asik IS the best fit for us & best bang 4 the $ (ppl reading this that aren't familiar w/ Asik, most of his #'s won't blow u away; u have to c how he plays to c his value ;); if we can't get either of these guys... Ilyasova, just as you've said (& I've been calling for for quite some time ;) would b awesome!

    by Simpson on 7/1/2012 11:24 AM
  13. by knorton181 on 7/1/2012 2:38 PM
  14. by knorton181 on 7/2/2012 9:50 AM
  15. by knorton181 on 7/2/2012 9:51 AM
  16. by knorton181 on 7/2/2012 9:51 AM
  17. by knorton181 on 7/2/2012 9:52 AM
  18. It doesnt seem that chicago has been a sure bet to match a high offer, they already have noah and boozer. If Asik gets a 5-7 mil offer thats probably not going to be matched

    by knorton181 on 7/1/2012 2:37 PM
  19. sorry knorton181, it was Hibbert who received the offer, $58.4 million over four years, according to several news sources. also, Woj just reported that Asik has verbally agreed with houston on a new deal. i don't think our pursuit of Nash is as serious as some may make it out to be.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 7/1/2012 4:36 PM
  20. sorry, posting is doing strange things. accidentally double posted.

    by Kassandra on 7/1/2012 4:38 PM
  21. yeah sorry about that. but yeah I think indi will match the offer to hibbert, which is why i see us going for a next teir lower center, like either asik, kaman, or next level down thabeet, and I haven't put much thought into hawes I just haven't seen anything great from him other than his top of the key shot. And I have a really good feeling we're going to make a little run for Nash, but time will tell! We're definitely getting a vet pg in free agency though.

    by knorton181 on 7/1/2012 11:13 PM
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