Yesterday, I noted that the Denver Nuggets continue to express interest in Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum, but that his price is greater than the offers that have hit the media and that the Blazers would need to receive a starting small forward in return. Today, Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com explains why Batum's name continues to circulate on the fringes of the Carmelo Anthony trade talks and puts a seemingly more accurate price on Batum. --------------------------- The Nuggets could have the means to acquire him if their talks with the New Jersey Nets ever come to fruition, because the Trail Blazers would only consider trading Batum if they were getting back a comparable player plus a likely lottery pick, and the Nets have offered their own No. 1 pick (along with different combinations of No.1 picks owed to them in 2011 and 2012 by the Lakers, Rockets and Warriors) in their efforts to acquire Anthony from Denver. So if the Nuggets acquired the rights to an unprotected Nets' pick, the Blazers would be willing to listen to what else Denver would add to a potential trade for Batum. --------------------------- Assume for the sake of argument that the price listed is accurate (I think it's close). First consider the difficulty for Denver in acquiring a player that is comparable to Batum in both skill and salary, plays the correct position and is one that would interest Portland (front offices have different takes on players). How many players are out there like that and how many of those players are available? Next, consider the fact that if they acquired such a player they would have to like Batum so much more that they would be willing to trade two premium-quality rebuilding pieces for one. If I'm Denver, even if I really, really like Batum, that's too steep a price. I'd prefer the quantity and flexibility of multiple assets over the specific quality of Batum if I was torching my team's foundation like they are about to. -- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter PS Thanks to JAWKS for getting there first in the FanShots.