NBA Rumors: Minnesota Timberwolves Look to Steal from Portland Trail Blazers

Wes MurryContributor IIIJuly 2, 2012

DENVER - DECEMBER 28:  Nicolas Batum #88 of the Portland Trail Blazers awaits a free throw against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on December 28, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Blazers 95-77. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

According to a number of sources, the Minnesota Timberwolves are interested in a number of former Portland Trail Blazers.

Brandon Roy, returning to the NBA after major knee problems, has drawn interest from the Wolves and a number of other teams including the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

According to Chris Haynes of, the T-Wolves are expected offer a four-year, $50 million deal to Blazers swingman Nicolas Batum.  NBA players cannot sign contracts until July 11, so the Blazers have a limited time to offer Batum a contract if they are interested in retaining him.

Minnesota is also apparently interested in Jamal Crawford, a veteran guard who played with the Trail Blazers last season, according to Jerry Zgoda of The Star-Tribune.  Crawford, 32, was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2010.

Minnesota is looking to add veterans to a roster of young players like Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams and Michael Beasley.  Crawford would get a lot of off-the-bench action while mentoring younger players.  It is likely that he will sign with the Wolves, but he also is rumored to be drawing interest from the Los Angeles Clippers (Los Angeles Times) and Boston Celtics (CBS Boston).

Currently on the Wolves roster is ex-Blazer Martell Webster, another player of the Brandon Roy-era.  Seeing these former Blazers in new uniforms would be a reunion of sorts.  The Wolves play in the same division as the Blazers and will play each other four times next year.

Both the Wolves and Blazers are rebuilding teams in the Western Conference's Northwest Division, and if the T-Wolves add many former Blazers, we should expect an exciting rivalry to ensue.