Darren Wolfson of ESPN Radio affiliate 1500ESPN Twin Cities
reports that the Timberwolves are still hot after restricted free agent Nicolas Batum and that the only way to ensure he ends up in Minneapolis is via sign-and-trade
According to the source, the way to get Batum here is still via a sign-and-trade. David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, will continue to talk with the Portland Trail Blazers throughout the weekend.
One scenario involves a three-way trade with Philadelphia. Andre Iguodala would go to Portland, Derrick Williams would go as part of a package to the Sixers and Batum would come to Minnesota. So far, Portland is balking.
It may not matter who or what the Timberwolves or any other third party is offering up, because General Manager Neil Olshey told Batum and his agent, Bouna Ndiaye, that he plans on keeping this 23-year-old Frenchman in the red, black, and white
, according to The Oregonian's Jason Quick.
"We appreciated the face-to-face meeting to get our message across," Olshey said. "And that message was that we intend to match any offer and we will not facilitate any sign-and-trade scenarios."
For the record, Williams averaged
8.8 points, on .412 shooting from the field, and 4.7 rebounds in 21.5 minutes of action per game during his rookie season. On the other hand, Iguodala, in his eighth NBA season
(all with the 76ers), put up 12.4 points, on .454 shooting from the floor, 6.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 35.6 minutes per night. Coincidentally enough, both players came to the NBA via the University of Arizona.