Zach who?: Wolves reach deals with Brandon Roy, Batum

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • July 6, 2012 - 1:22 AM

Derrick Williams welcomed Brandon Roy to Minnesota tonight by offering him the jersey number off his back.

This is what he tweeted when news broke that the Wolves and Roy have agreed on a two-year contract that will pay him more than $5 million a season.

"Welcome Brandon Roy - #7 is all yours."

No. 88 is just sitting there waiting Nicolas Batum, IF the Wolves' four-year offer sheet to him that could be worth more than $50 million somehow keeps the Blazers from matching it.

The Wolves reached agreement Thursday with both Roy and Batum on deals.

Here's the story for Friday's paper that wraps up both developments.

The Blazers today told Batum and his agent that they will match any offer and they won't consider doing a sign-and-trade with him.

Batum, in turn, told the Blazers he wants to play in Minnesota, where he says he can be happier than Portland.

The Frenchman is hoping the Blazers will do for him what Phoenix just did with Steve Nash and grant his wish for freedom.

There's a little bit difference, though, what the two have done for their respective franchises, isn't there?

Nash is 39, Batum is 23.

Batum's agent told the Associated Press his client felt stifled in Portland's system and wanted to spend less time standing and shooting threes in the corner and more time breaking down defenders and getting to the rim.

"He was never himself," agent Bouna Ndiaye said. "He has mentioned this in the meeting. He said, `I just want to be me. I don't want to stand in the corner. I'm a player with movement. I was locked up in the corner.' So he has expressed that for sure."

Batum believes he'll get that freedom with Rick Adelman. He also is tight with Wolves assistant coach Bill Bayno, a former Portland assistant whose home he rents in Portland.

Batum can't sign the offer sheet until Wednesday and then the Blazers have three days -- until July 14 -- to match.

Guess what July 14 is?

Bastille Day, France's day of independence celebration.


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