NBA Free Agency: Nicolas Batum, Minnesota Timberwolves Reportedly Agree to Terms
APNewsBreak: Timberwolves agree to terms with Batum on 4-year, $45M offer sheet with bonuses that can push it past $50M. Batum wants MN.— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) July 5, 2012
ESPN.com reported that Batum and his agent, Bouna Ndiaye, met with Blazers officials on Thursday, including GM Neil Olshey. Ndiaye hasn't released the terms of the deal, but the AP report lists it as four years and $45 million plus bonuses.
The 6'8" Frenchman has been a versatile swingman for Portland, but his agent states he is better suited to play with Ricky Rubio and coach Rick Adelman in Minnesota.
Olshey informed the press the Trail Blazers have no intention of trading Batum or letting him walk in free agency.
"We appreciated the face-to-face meeting to get our message across," Olshey told The Oregonian. "And that message was that we intend to match any offer and we will not facilitate any sign-and-trade scenarios."
The 25th overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft, Batum believes in the franchise's direction and likes the Minneapolis area in general. Ndiaye said Batum is hoping the Blazers will allow him to move on to a situation where he can compete and be happy.
"Nicolas said, 'I really respect the Blazers' organization, the Blazers' fans,'" Ndiaye said. "He even mentioned he really loved to be coached by (former assistant) Monty Williams, who was a mentor. But his choice, his heart went to Minneapolis."
Batum had a career-high 13.9 points per game last season, his fourth in the NBA.
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