Timberwolves agree to terms with both Roy and Batum
Hearts in Portland became heavy late Thursday when news broke out on multiple social media sites that the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to come to terms with former Blazer Brandon Roy followed by a verbal commitment from the valued forward Nicolas Batum.
The exact details of both contracts are still being worked out, The Oregonian writer Jason Quick first announced on Twitter that a Roy family member said he ended up signing with the Wolves. Roy cannot sign until July 11, but they verbally agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal, according to HoopsWorld.com.
As Portland was getting over the fact that we would have to start buying blue Roy jerseys, the Wolves came back again with news that Frenchman forward Batum had “agreed” to sign with them as well.
Portland GM Neil Olshey met with Batum and his agent on Thursday and told him that they felt the best plan for both parties was to sign with the Blazers. According to Jon Krawcyznski of the Associated Press:
“The agent for Portland restricted free agent Nicolas Batum told The Associated Press that his client has reached a verbal agreement with the Timberwolves on a new deal and wants the Blazers to let him go to Minnesota.
Bouna Ndiaye says Batum met with Blazers officials including GM Neil Olshey on Thursday. He says Ndiaye has great respect for the Blazers and their fans, but feels the best fit for him is playing in Minnesota under coach Rick Adelman and alongside point guard Ricky Rubio.”
Olshey at the end of the meeting felt pretty well as to what was done by saying:
“We appreciated the face-to-face meeting to get our message across,” “And that message was that we intend to match any offer and we will not facilitate any sign-and-trade scenarios. …”
“We told Nic that it is in his best interests to sign with us.”
This is now simply heartbreaking scenario that Portland didn’t want to find themselves in. While sitting on their hands as to whether or not Roy Hibbert would commit to his max contract, it’s no point now for Portland to match the offer on July 11 and overpay Batum 10-11 million for a contract that he made it clear that he doesn’t want to play for the Blazers while the Wolves offered a four-year, $45M contract with bonuses. Now isn’t the point of being apart of Portland’s rebuilding mode, it’s for the money and it’s quite possible Roy’s decision made a path for Batum to follow.
From the view point of Blazersedge.com, “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, 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.
Details are still working out, so this post will likely be updated.
photos courtesy of firsttoflyy.com and nba.com/blazers