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Arnovitz: Should Blazers Bail On Batum After Hibbert Match?

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Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com covered Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey while he was in Los Angeles and has written the definitive profile of him while also doing a recent piece on his philosophical approach to the Blazers. When news broke that the Indiana Pacers would retain restricted free agent center Roy Hibbert, Arnovitiz wondered on Twitter whether the Blazers should opt against keeping restricted free agent forward Nicolas Batum if he receives a reported 4-year, $45 million offer sheet from the Minnesota Timberwolves or if pursuing a sign-and-trade would be the preferred solution. ---------------------------- Here's guessing that the chances of Portland matching Minnesota's Batum offer just dropped precipitously. At best, Portland would look for Sign-and-Trade for short-term and/or non-guaranteed deals. Why tie up big, long-term $ in Batum on a team that will win 35-40 [games]? Keep cap room, get high picks and build. I can't speak to Minnesota's thinking. (know anyone who can?) I'm basing this on feel for Portland's thinking. I could also be wrong. ---------------------------- The Orlando Magic took the sign-and-trade approach over the weekend, electing to move forward Ryan Anderson to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for center Gustavo Ayon and the right not to pay Anderson $9 million a year. -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter