Today was the last day to extend Batum's contract (as we did for Roy and Aldridge, but not Oden). Ordinarily teams must negotiate and sign a new contract with players coming off the 3rd year of their rookie scale contracts by Oct 31 (prior to their 4th season), otherwise the team can no longer extend their contracts during their 4th season. The team would then need to make the player a qualifying offer after their 4th season to make the player a restricted free-agent (which is where we are now with Oden), else the player becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA) after that 4th season.
HOWEVER, teams expect to be granted some unspecified window of opportunity to extend players after the lockout ends, as discussed today in this article -
From a practical point of view, this means that the Blazers and Batum will probably only have a couple of weeks to negotiate a new contract after the season ends and some extended-deadline occurs. While they are involved in that negotiation the Blazers will also be involved in trying to negotiate a new long term deal with Oden (so that he doesn't take the QO and become an UFA in summer 2012). And while all that is going on, the Blazers need to be in the free agent hunt for big man help using the MLE.
All of those "opportunities" will most likely have to be started and finished within a 2-3 week interval, which in theory at least, could start at any time (with a CBA agreement), but most likely (IMO) will start in early January. But hey, who needs a GM?
So how much do you think the Blazers will have to pay to extend Batum's contract? Or should they just lowball it and deal with him as a RFA next summer after making him the Qualifying Offer?