Haynes: Blazers To Meet With RFA F Nicolas Batum This Week

Chris Haynes of reports that the Portland Trail Blazers will meet with restricted free agent forward Nicolas Batum later this week. --------------------------- Restricted free agent forward, Nicolas Batum, will meet with the Portland Trail Blazers this Thursday or Friday in Portland, a league source says. --------------------------- Batum has yet to reach a verbal agreement on an offer sheet. He reportedly met with the Minnesota Timberwolves over the weekend and has multiple other suitors, including 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. Follow along and discuss the latest NBA league-wide free agency rumors and reports in this post. ed: text edited, bumped to front page