Nicolas Batum: Portland Would Risk Chemistry Problems by Keeping Free Agent
The Portland Trail Blazers have never given any sort of indication that they would let Nicolas Batum change teams and join the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the free agent forward hasn't pretended that he wants to be anywhere but Minnesota.
That's a deadly combination for a team's chemistry. While chemistry is important for the GPA in high school and college, it's even more important for NBA teams hoping to make it back to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
General manager Neil Olshey's recent comments aren't helping the concoction that Batum and the Blazers are cooking up together.
In fact, he's adding the wrong ingredients and threatening to make the potion leave everyone involved with the Einstein-ian hair that you typically see after mad scientists are subjected to explosions.
According to Jerry Sgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Olshey said the following when asked why Batum would want to go to Minnesota:
"I guess he’s into mosquito bites and frostbite. I don’t know what to tell you."
There are certain things you don't say, and that would be one of them. While there are so many mosquitos in Minnesota that the insect is sometimes considered the state bird, it's still not a good idea to insult a location and a player's decision.
Should the Trail Blazers keep Nicolas Batum?
Olshey could have given a logical answer about how Batum would help add a defensive presence on the wing to the Timberwolves' squad, one that's gearing up for a playoff run.
Instead, he made a statement that might leave Batum fuming.
In the small forward's eyes, it's bad enough that the Blazers are planning to match the inevitable offer sheet and force him to stay in Portland. Now the GM is insulting his decision?
A happy basketball player is better than a disgruntled one. If Portland wants to help Batum truly break out during the 2012-2013 season, then they have to start saying the right things.
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