of The Oregonian reports on Twitter
that the Portland Trail Blazers met with restricted free agent forward Nicolas Batum on Thursday and that the meeting was "constructive."
Blazers just complete meeting with Batum and agent in downtown Portland and say they will match any offer and will not engage in sign-and-trade.
Blazers GM Olshey says it was "constructive" in that Blazers were able to get their message across face-to-face in meeting at The Nines
Olshey: "We told Nic it is in his best interests to sign with us."
Batum denied a report
earlier this week that he was unhappy with the Blazers and preferred to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The 4-year deal being discussed between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Batum sits in the $45-50 million range, including bonuses that are said to be both achievable and potentially extremely difficult to achieve. As of Thursday, the Timberwolves and Batum had still yet to reach an "official" verbal agreement on an offer sheet. No sign-and-trade discussions had taken place yet between Portland and Minnesota regarding Batum as of Tuesday night.
I've been getting a number of emails on this situation. Please read this
and commit it to memory until a verbal agreement has been reached between Batum and one of his suitors.
Batum left a weekend visit with the Timberwolves without an agreement on an offer
. He's set to meet with the Blazers later this week
. His other suitors are said to include the New Orleans Hornets, Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Suitors can offer Batum a 4-year contract while Portland can add a fifth year. Offer sheets cannot be signed until July 11, after the NBA's free agency moratorium is completed. At that point, the Blazers would have three days to match.
Batum said back in April that he was "99 percent" sure
that the Blazers would match any offer made to him and the team's ownership and management has consistently referred to him as one of the roster's core pieces. The Blazers extended a qualifying offer
to Batum last week.
Batum, 23, averaged 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals in 30.4 minutes for the Blazers last season.
PS Thanks to BlazerFanSince1970
who got there first in the FanShots. I had some formatting issues so I started a new thread.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter