Third team enters the mix as the Wolves court Batum

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2012 - 12:00 PM

The Trail Blazers say he isn't moving. However, a published report says they also have been offered guard Kyle Korver and draft picks.

hide

Speculation is swirling around swingman Nicolas Batum (right, with Kevin Love), a restricted free agent.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Timberwolves accelerated their contentious pursuit of Portland restricted free agent Nicolas Batum on Wednesday, moving toward reaching a sign-and-trade arrangement for the 23-year-old swingman or offering Batum a painfully rich offer sheet that the Trail Blazers would have three days to match.

ESPN the Magazine reported the teams were discussing a deal that would send two first-round picks and a veteran small forward from another team to the Blazers for Batum.

The report said the Wolves will sign Batum to that offer sheet -- Batum's agent last week said the Wolves agreed to a four-year deal that will pay at least $45 million -- if a trade agreement wasn't reached by Wednesday night.

The report didn't identify the veteran small forward, but it is believed to be Chicago's Kyle Korver, whose presence would fill Batum's spot in Portland, give the Blazers the corner shooter they'll lack and whose one-year contract would give the Blazers salary-cap flexibility next summer.

Portland General Manager Neil Olshey on Wednesday said the Wolves have nothing to offer in a sign-and-trade that interests him and reiterated that the Blazers would match any offer.

"I don't believe in letting talent walk out the door," he told Portland reporters.

But he also said he continues to talk to the Wolves about a trade.

He also took a couple of swipes, at the state of Minnesota and Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn.

When asked about Batum's desire to play for the Wolves, Olshey said: "I guess he's into mosquito bites and frostbite. I don't know what to tell you."

Somebody also asked why the Wolves hadn't yet followed through on their threat to offer Batum all that money.

"It's called the Wrath of Kahn," he said, referring to the 1982 Star Trek II movie "Wrath of Khan."

If the Wolves sign Batum to an offer sheet rather than strike a trade, they will have to make a series of roster moves first to clear enough salary-cap space to give Batum a $10 million-plus first-year salary.

Those moves include buying Brad Miller and Martell Webster out of the final year of their contracts and likely using their one-time amnesty clause to waive center Darko Milicic. They also might have to trade a player, perhaps Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea or Wes Johnson.

Ridnour or a draft pick could be headed to Chicago in the deal that would send Korver to Portland.

The Wolves also need enough cap room to sign three-time All-Star Brandon Roy and Russian guard Alexey Shved, both of whom have agreed to contracts but have not signed them yet. The NBA moratorium on trades and signings ended at 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Wolves also have pursued free-agent big men Greg Stiemsma, Boston's restricted free agent, and Jordan Hill, Los Angeles Lakers power forward.

They have asked the agents for both players for patience while they sort out matters, namely their pursuit of Batum. Stiemsma's agent said his client prefers to play for the Wolves if they can reach agreement on a contract that could pay him $2.5 million or $3 million a year.

The Blazers have reached contract agreements with forward J.J. Hickson and past draft picks Joel Freeland and Victor Claver, moves perhaps strategically intended to fill out the team's roster so they sign Batum last and thus exceed the salary cap. They're allowed to do so because Batum's "Bird rights" allow Portland to go over the cap to sign one of its own players.

  • WOLVES FREE AGENCY

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - Z. Wheeler 12:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 12:10 PM
Atlanta - J. Teheran
Boston - R. De La Rosa 12:10 PM
Tampa Bay - D. Smyly
Minnesota - P. Hughes 12:35 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Pittsburgh - G. Cole 1:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
Milwaukee - J. Nelson 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner
Detroit - D. Price 3:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Seattle - C. Young 3:05 PM
Oakland - J. Hammel
San Francisco 2 Suspended
Colorado 2
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:40 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 3:00 PM
Chicago
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close