Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trailblazers general manager Neil Olshey is no longer making any promises when it comes to restricted free agent Nicolas Batum.
Just a few short days ago, Olshey was adamant that the Blazers would match any offer that Batum would receive and wasn't interested in any sign-and-trade scenarios, that would take Nic out of a Blazers uniform.
Today, things have changed...
The Blazers had made an offer to Indiana Pacers restricted free agent Roy Hibbert for roughly 4-years $58million, in hopes that Indy would balk at the max offer. Today, news broke that the Pacers would match the offer to keep Hibbert in Indiana.
My initial reaction to that news? "Great...just great." Believing that, since Portland had missed out on Hibbert, there was zero-chance that they'd let Batum go too. However, I now see it from another angle...
The Blazers now have LaMarcus Aldridge, and... Exactly. Portland won't be contending for a playoff spot for at least another year or two, what's the sense in matching the offer to Batum to pay him $11-$12million annually to win 30-some games, next year.
Olshey had this to say, today: "We've all heard things. I had a conversation with his agent, I had a conversation with David Kahn from the Minnesota Timberwolves. That will remain private. Like I said, what you will see at the end of this is that I believe what we did is in the best interest of the organization today and in the future."
Free Agency will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:01pmCT. That's the date when the moratorium period ends and all these agreements that have been made this past week, can become confirmed. That's when the TWolves will sign Batum to that 4-year $45million offer (that becomes $50million w/incentives). Once he signs, the Blazers will have three days (or until July 14th) to either match the offer to keep him in Portland OR (hopefully) Minnesota and Portland could work out a sign-and-trade.
Batum's agent: Bouna N'Diaye says that Batum doesn't want to return to Portland and has asked the Blazers not to match the offer, to allow him to join the Timberwolves and Rubio/K-Love/Pek.
Everything will become a bit more clear in these next few days (maybe even by tomorrow night). Stay tuned to HOWL (and to me on Twitter @donnycersado27) for all the TWolves news & updates! Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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