Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum has put pen to paper on the Minnesota Timberwolves' four-year, $46 million offer sheet, according to a report by Comcast Sportsnet Northwest's Chris Haynes. The Trail Blazers have three days to decide to match the Wolves' offer, so by Sunday, July 15, Batum will definitively know which uniform he'll be wearing. Haynes reports the Blazers are expected to match the offer.
The Blazers have been active, but unsuccessful in the offseason in trying to attract outside talent, offering a max contract to center Roy Hibbert only to have the Indiana Pacers match, reportedly being in the mix for Brook Lopez's services (he's expected to return to the Brooklyn Nets as well). In fact, the only talent they've been able to pry away from another team is new general manager Neil Olshey. They have two lottery picks in Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard coming in, and bringing Batum back means the team they had at the end of last year that tanked out of the playoff picture remains largely unchanged, other than the rookies.
There are still some free agents available, but their hopes of adding a veteran center to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge might not come to fruition, as the talented big men left on the market — Kris Humphries (restricted) and Elton Brand (amnestied, likely) and JaVale McGee (restricted) — are either power forwards or unlikely to leave their current teams.
Batum, still just 23, averaged 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, one steal and one block per game in 2011-'12.