The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to contract terms with both restricted free agent Nicolas Batum and former retired guard Brandon Roy, according to sources.
The Oregonian and Seattle radio station KJR report that Roy had ended talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, and Dallas Mavericks in order to return to both the NBA and Minnesota.
“I’m excited to be back,” Roy said, according to KJR. “I’m a T-Wolf!”
The former Trail Blazers guard was originally drafted by the Timberwolves in 2006, but was traded for the draft rights to Randy Foye. Timberwolves brass and Roy, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, settled on a two-year contract worth $10.4 million.
Roy, a three-time All-Star, retired following the 2011-12 season after suffering from a degenerative issue that affected both of his knees, which lead to career lows in points (12.2), assists (2.7), and rebounds (4.3).
According to the Associated Press, Batum is expected to re-join his former Blazers teammate in Minnesota, but Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey is prepared to upset that reunion. Olshey and the franchise is expected to match the incentive-laden $45-50 million contract the Wolves have offered the restricted free agent swingman.
“We told Nic that it is in his best interests to sign with us,” Olshey told The Oregonian. ”And that message was that we intend to match any offer and we will not facilitate any sign-and-trade scenarios. …”
During his fourth season with the Blazers, Batum, 23, averaged 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals in 30.4 minutes.
The wing players cannot sign their offer sheets until July 11 when the NBA free agency moratorium is over. Portland will have three days to match Batum’s offer, but the French Olympian feels playing alongside of Ricky Rubio is a better option for him. If everything goes as planned the starting five for the Wolves will be Rubio, Roy, Batum, Love, and Nikola Pekovic.
About the Author
Written by Jourdan Shepard
New York born. New Jersey bred. Earned my degree on a Georgia clay hill. "Rooting for my rival is like wanting the house to win in blackjack...."