FanShot

AP: Timberwolves "Agree To Terms" With Blazers RFA F Nicolas Batum

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Jon Krawcyznski of the Associated Press reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to terms on a 4-year offer sheet for Portland Trail Blazers restrictred free agent forward Nicolas Batum. ----------------------------------------- The agent for Portland restricted free agent Nicolas Batum told The Associated Press that his client has reached a verbal agreement with the Timberwolves on a new deal and wants the Blazers to let him go to Minnesota. Bouna Ndiaye says Batum met with Blazers officials including GM Neil Olshey on Thursday. He says Ndiaye has great respect for the Blazers and their fans, but feels the best fit for him is playing in Minnesota under coach Rick Adelman and alongside point guard Ricky Rubio. ----------------------------------------- Krawcyznski reports the terms on Twitter here... ----------------------------------------- APNewsBreak: Timberwolves agree to terms with Batum on 4-year, $45M offer sheet with bonuses that can push it past $50M. Batum wants MN. Batum's agent tells AP that Batum respects Portland team, fans, "but his choice, his heart went to Minnesota." Hopes Blazers don't match. Ndiaye: Batum "had a great feel with coach Rick Adelman and Nicolas thinks this is a system that will fit him." Ndiaye says Batum didn't like how he was used in Portland. "He said I'm a player with movement. I was locked up in the corner." ----------------------------------------- Updates: A few pertinent updates... Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports! tweets... ----------------------------------------- Minnesota's considered pitching a Derrick Williams-Martell Webster sign-and-trade for Nic Batum, sources say. Portland would reject it. Whatever Nic Batum decides to do - signs a Minny offer sheet, or not - he'll be a Blazer again. Portland isn't losing him to the Wolves. ----------------------------------------- Ken Berger of CBSSports.com tweets... ----------------------------------------- Others have touched on this, but Blazers have nothing but contempt for Minnesota's bid for RFA Nicolas Batum. Sorry, Nic, you're staying. ----------------------------------------- Earlier Thursday, a report indicated that the Blazers told Batum and his agent that they would match any offer sheet and would not participate in any sign-and-trades. Batum denied a report earlier this week that he was unhappy with the Blazers and preferred to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves. On Tuesday, I reported the 4-year deal being discussed between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Batum sat in the $45-50 million range, including bonuses that are said to be both achievable and potentially extremely difficult to achieve. No sign-and-trade discussions had taken place yet between Portland and Minnesota regarding Batum as of Tuesday night. Batum left a weekend visit with the Timberwolves without an agreement on an offer. 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 Dunemonkey in the FanShots. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter
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