The Minnesota Timberwolves have been rumored to be interested in signing Nicolas Batum to an offer sheet for a while, but they finally made it official Thursday night, agreeing to terms with the restricted free-agent forward.
The deal is reportedly worth $45 million over four years with bonuses that could make it worth $50 million. Batum's agent, Bouna Ndiaye, told the Associated Press Batum is hoping the Trail Blazers either do not match the offer or work out a sing-and-trade deal with Minnesota.
Previous reports have said Portland intends to match any offer sheet Batum signed and will not look into trading the fourth-year forward. Batum and his agent met with the Blazers officials Thursday to discuss the 23-year-old's future with the organization.
Ndiaye said Batum has great respect for the Blazers and their fans, but believes playing for Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and alongside point guard Ricky Rubio and forward Kevin Love was the best situation for him.
"It was a very cordial meeting. There were no hard feelings," Ndiaye said. "So Nicolas basically talked about his four years with the Blazers and he expressed that maybe it was time for him to look at a place where it could be more happy."
Batum can't officially sign with Minnesota until July 11. Then, the Blazers would have three days to match the offer.