The Minnesota Timberwolves are actively pursuing free-agent forward Nicolas Batum in a three-team trade with the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Ric Bucher and other NBA reports.
If the trade is completed, Bulls small forward Kyle Korver would be shipped to Portland along with two future first round draft picks from the T-Wolves. Chicago would be compensated with a second-round draft pick from Minnesota.
Last week, Batum and Minnesota reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $45-50 million, but Portland general manager Neil Olshey vowed to attempt to derail those plans by matching any offer made to the fourth-year 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. …”
Minnesota is trying to avoid Portland matching its contract offer to Batum by facilitating this trade.
If the trade is not completed by this evening Minnesota will sign Batum to an offer sheet and await Portland’s next move, Bucher’s source said.
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...."