After the Portland Trail Blazers formally announced on Wednesday that they would match a 4-year offer sheet made to restricted free agent forward Nicolas Batum by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team officially announced his re-signing on Friday.
Here's the press release.
The Portland Trail Blazers have re-signed forward Nicolas Batum, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Batum carries averages of 10.2 points (46.0% FG, 37.2% 3-PT, 83.6% FT), 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 26.2 minutes in four seasons with the Trail Blazers. At age 23, he has started in 202 of 255 career games and has increased his scoring and rebounding averages in each of his four seasons.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to continue my career in Portland and look forward to getting together with my teammates after the Olympics to start preparing for the season," said Batum. "It feels right to be back with the Trail Blazers, playing in front of the best fans in the world."
Batum averaged career highs in points (13.9), rebounds (4.6) and steals (0.97), while leading the Trail Blazers in blocks (60) last season. Ranking ninth on the team's all-time ledger for 3-pointers made (341), his nine 3-pointers Feb. 4, 2012 vs. Denver broke a franchise record on his way to a career-high 33-point outing.
"I've maintained all along that Nic Batum is one of the cornerstones of this franchise and keeping him in Portland was our top priority," said Olshey. "Without question, Nic has worked hard to get to where he is today and this contract is a reflection of that. The real beauty is he's only 23 and is just beginning to scratch the surface of where we think his ultimate upside will be. His continued growth is going to be something very exciting and special for Trail Blazers fans to see."
Portland originally acquired Batum (6-8, 210) in a draft day trade with Houston on June 26, 2008.
A starter for the French national team that will compete in the 2012 London Olympics this summer, Batum's signing gives the Trail Blazers three players in the Olympic games, after the team signed Spain's Victor Claver and Great Britain's Joel Freeland last week.
The team is holding a press conference in Portland on Friday. The Star Trek nerds never actually invented the transporter in real life so I can't attend.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter