Blazers Match Wolves' Offer For Batum

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Earlier today, the Portland Trail Blazers matched the offer sheet the Timberwolves made to restricted free agent forward Nicolas Batum on July 15.

Batum, who has played his entire four-year career with the Trail Blazers, agreed to an offer sheet with the Timberwolves on Sunday. Portland had three days to match the offer, with the deadline being Wednesday evening.

"We are disappointed that Nicolas Batum will not be on our team and wish him the best in the future," Kahn said. "However, we were prepared for the possibility of this outcome and will move forward with our other plans.”

In order to open up salary cap space for Batum, the Timberwolves made several roster moves last week. The team used the amnesty clause on center Darko Milicic, waived guard/forward Martell Webster and traded center Brad Miller’s contract to the New Orleans Hornets. With Batum now staying in Portland, the Wolves have a significant amount of flexibility in pursuing other free agents.

“We are positioned well from a salary cap standpoint and will continue to explore additional roster moves,” Kahn said. “We are confident that we will make the necessary transactions to improve our team for the coming season and beyond."

Batum averaged 13.9 points per game in 59 contests last season. He also brought down 4.6 rebounds and shot 45.1 percent from the floor—including 39.1 percent from 3-point range.

He is averaging 10.2 points in his four seasons and is a career 46.0 percent shooter from the floor.

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