Mar, 18, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (88) before the start of the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Free Agency 2012: Nicolas Batum To Remain With Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have matched the offer sheet submitted by the Minnesota Timberwolves for Nicolas Batum.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Timberwolves And Trail Blazers Discussing Move For Nicolas Batum

The NBA trade rumor mill has elected involve the Minnesota Timberwolves again this week as the team tries to acquire restricted free agent Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers. It doesn't sound like it's going to be easy, but at least there's apparently a deal being discussed.

The Blazers and Timberwolves are discussing a deal that would seemingly cripple the Wolves' chances at continuing to rebuild in the future in exchange for the immediate impact Batum could have, according to a report from ESPN's Ric Bucher.

The Trail Blazers and Timberwolves are discussing a deal that would bring Portland free-agent forward Nicolas Batum to Minnesota in exchange for two future first-round draft picks and a veteran small forward acquired from a third team, a league source told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

If the Blazers continue to balk, Bucher says, the Wolves will simply sign Batum to an offer sheet Wednesday night -- which Portland has said it'll match, keeping Batum in a Portland uniform.

That's quite a nice haul for the Blazers considering one of their alternatives is to let Batum play out this season and then walk for nothing next year, but maybe they believe another team will chip in with something else before that happens.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Derrick Williams Is Untouchable In Nicolas Batum Talks

NBA trade rumors are going to be all the rage around these parts for the near future because, like it or not, that's the only way the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to be able to acquire Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers. The Wolves have already said they plan to sign the restricted free agent to an offer sheet, but the Blazers have said they'll match -- even though Batum has been pretty clear that he'd rather play in Minnesota.

Regardless, if that's going to happen, it seems like the Wolves will have to give up something in return. They made Luke Ridnour and/or J.J. Barea expendable when they came to terms with Alexey Shved earlier Tuesday afternoon, but they apparently are balking at moving Derrick Williams.

It's not surprising that the Wolves want to keep last year's second overall pick, but there aren't many other attractive options that the Blazers might be interested in (that Minnesota should consider trading, anyway). We'll learn more in the next 24 hours.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page.

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Alexey Shved To Sign With Minnesota Timberwolves, According To Report

The Minnesota Timberwolves made another big move on Tuesday in coming to terms with Russian guard Alexey Shved. While it likely won't be met with the same fanfare that the Brandon Roy signing was, it's still a very good one.

The Shved signing has been rumored for quite awhile, but Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press was able to confirm it on Tuesday afternoon.

Shved is a 6-foot-5 guard who went undrafted a couple of seasons ago, but has reportedly improved quite a bit -- a nice thing, especially since he's still a rather young 23 years of age. The guys over at Draft Express were particularly high on him a couple of seasons ago:

Watching Shved play, it's tough not to be enamored with the terrific talent he displays, particularly his ability to play the pick-and-roll and operate in the open floor. He's got great size for either backcourt position at 6-5 and is an extremely fluid, creative player with the ability to create his own shot, which is rare for a European prospect. He has all the typical tricks you see from Euro-style slashers, relying heavily on timing, pace, change of speed and herky-jerky shakes and crossovers to get his man off balance, but he also has an extra gear he can go to to get by his man using either hand, particularly in transition.

In this regard, his style of play is very similar to the way Goran Dragic played for Phoenix this season. Shved is an even better passer, though. He instinctively makes smart, simple passes within the flow of the offense, but he can also wow you at times with his imagination and his ability to thread the needle and find the open man diving to the rim for an easy basket.

Shved has the ability to create shots for himself and his teammates, and he's capable of finishing lobs and transition plays above the rim, but he simply isn't strong enough to finish around the basket in traffic. Shved's frame is narrow and it hasn't seemed to improve much over the last few years. This creates a major problem for him because of the extremely physical league he plays in-the Russian league is one of the slowest-paced, most half-court oriented leagues in Europe.

Shved likely won't get big minutes early on in Minnesota unless Luke Ridnour or J.J. Barea is now traded in the wake of this signing, but he should be able to help out when does find himself on the court.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Philadelphia, Blazers And Timberwolves Could Strike A Deal

The Minnesota Timberwolves are putting their best effort toward acquiring Nicolas Batum, but after the Portland Trail Blazers said they'd match whatever offer David Kahn and Co. put forth, that task is proving to be a bit difficult.

There are other ways the Wolves could acquire Batum, though, and 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reports that a three-way trade with the Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers is one way things could get done.

According to the source, the way to get Batum here is still via a sign-and-trade. David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, will continue to talk with the Portland Trail Blazers throughout the weekend.

One scenario involves a three-way trade with Philadelphia. Andre Iguodala would go to Portland, Derrick Williams would go as part of a package to the Sixers and Batum would come to Minnesota. So far, Portland is balking.

It's unclear what else the Wolves would have to send to the Sixers in that deal, but it's certainly intriguing. The problem is Portland, though, so Wolfson reports that the Wolves might just look at acquiring Andre Iguodala instead of Batum -- thereby cutting out the middleman.

If Portland doesn't change its mind, the Wolves could revisit talks solely with Philadelphia about Iguodala. But as has been the case since the teams first started talking two years ago, the Wolves aren't big fans of his contract. It has two years left -- the second is a player option -- at approximately $30 million total.

The Wolves are obviously looking at making moves ... hopefully they're the right ones.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page

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NBA Rumors: Minnesota Timberwolves A Dark Horse Candidate To Add Ray Allen?

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been looking at improving their roster this offseason with the addition of a sharpshooter. The team has apparently focused some of their efforts, now that the Portland Trail Blazers are likely to match on Nicolas Batum, with one of the best shooters in the history of the game.

Ray Allen, a free agent coming up on the end of his career, has been rumored to all but be the Miami Heat's newest member. The former member of the Boston Celtics' "Big Three" might have an alternate destination in mind, though, according to ESPN's Ric Bucher.

It's almost impossible for this to happen right now considering the salary cap and such, but where there's a will, maybe there's a way. Regardless if the Wolves are able to figure out a way to make it work, it sounds like a long shot.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page.

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NBA Free Agency: Brandon Roy Hopes To Return Strong After Treatment For Knee Injuries

So far, one of the most surprising moves of the off season for the Minnesota Timberwolves when it comes to free agency has been their reported signing of retired Portland Trailblazers favorite Brandon Roy. Despite a long history of knee injuries and a recommendation from a team orthopedist that he never play again, he has decided to make a comeback in the game and it's the Wolves that he'll be joining.

According to Roy's agent Greg Lawrence, he has been working hard to make sure that he makes an impact in his first season back after a couple of procedures to get his knee ready for playing:

"He just wants a chance to earn what he can," Lawrence said. "If he is playing at a starter level, he wants to start. If he is playing at a sixth-man level, he will come off the bench. But Brandon is not going to come back and be the 13th man on the roster. He wouldn't do all this hard work to come back unless he felt he was going to make an impact."

There's also particular intrigue involved in watching when the Wolves head out to play Roy's former team, the Portland Trailblazers. The Wolves are in the same division, so the teams are guaranteed to meet several times:

"We talked about that, that there will be a lot of games in the Rose Garden," Greg Lawrence, Roy's agent, said. "And he said, 'That's going to be weird.' So I'm sure that will be a big night the first time it happens."

Adding in Roy, if he can stay healthy, is a big coup for the young and talent filled Wolves team. For a small contract considering how hard the supremely talented Roy has been working to get back into shape to play in the NBA once more, it might be the piece that takes the Wolves over the top from playoff bubble to playoff contender.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page, or watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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NBA Free Agency: Brandon Roy Agrees To Join Minnesota Timberwolves, According To Report

One of the more intriguing free agents in the NBA the summer is Brandon Roy, a shooting guard with all-star talent and a history of knee injuries. But talent is hard to pass up and several teams have expressed an interest in signing Roy this summer after his latest knee injury forced him to leave the Portland Trail Blazers due to retirement.

According to Jason Quick of The Oregonian, Roy has decided to join Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and the Timberwolves in the upcoming season.

Roy will fill a big need for the Wolves if he can provide stead production from the shooting guard spot. Roy last played in the 2010-11 season when he played 47 games and averaged 12 points, 2.7 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. For his career, Roy has averaged 19 points, 4.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Quick went on to say he did not know any details of the deal.

UPDATE: Quick's report was confirmed by NBA.com's David Aldridge who also had the terms of the deal.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page, or watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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NBA Rumors: Nicolas Batum Will Stay A Blazer, Not Become A Timberwolf

The Minnesota Timberwolves had been angling at acquiring Nicolas Batum, a restricted free agent, from the Portland Trail Blazers. Unfortunately that won't be happening, however, as the Blazers have apparently deemed Batum to be too important to their team.

The Timberwolves reportedly offered Batum $11 million per season and, while that sounds like a lot, no amount will be enough to lure Batum to the Twin Cities. Not necessarily because he's not interested, but rather because the Blazers have decided they'll do whatever it takes to keep him.

With those options off the table, Batum will now have the option of either playing out the final year of his rookie deal -- worth just over $4 million, according to ShamSports' salary database -- or signing a long-term deal with the Blazers. The latter option happens more often than the former and, if the Wolves decide to submit their offer anyway when the moratorium on free agents ends July 11, they'll have to match whatever long-term deal Minnesota puts down on paper.

For more on the T-Wolves in free agency, stay with this StoryStream. For full Timberwolves coverage, head over to Canis Hoopus. And for more news and analysis from around the NBA, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

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Nicolas Batum Offered $11 Million By Minnesota Timberwolves, According To Report

On Thursday afternoon, it was reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves had submitted an offer to restricted free agent Nicolas Batum in the range of $11 million per season. Bartum was given a qualifying offer by the Portland Trail Blazers on June 25, which means that if Batum accepts the Timberwolves offer, Portland will have three days after July 11 to match the offer.

If they do, Batum will have to play out the proposed deal with the Trail Blazers.

Batum has spent the last four seasons in Portland averaging 10.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 26.2 minutes per game over that span.

For more on the T-Wolves in free agency, stay with this StoryStream. For full Timberwolves coverage, head over to Canis Hoopus. And for more news and analysis from around the NBA, visit SB Nation's NBA hub.

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Timberwolves Free Agency 2012: Minnesota Target Brandon Roy Meets With Warriors, According To Report

Former Portland Trail Blazer Brandon Roy, who the Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly interested in signing this offseason, met this week with the Golden State Warriors, according to an article from the Associated Press.

Roy, the sixth-overall pick in 2006, has played his entire career in Portland, but the three-time All-Star retired prior to last season because of lingering knee issues, which have crippled him the past few seasons.

From the AP article:

The Golden State Warriors and Roy met earlier this week about him joining the team in the free agent's attempted comeback, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were preliminary, said the Warriors met with Roy on Sunday and were hoping to meet with the former Portland guard again this week. Nothing was scheduled yet.

The article says that while it's unclear how much money Roy is seeking, it is unlikely that he would sign the veteran minimum of about $1 million per year.

Bob Myers, Roy's former agent, is now the general manager of the Warriors.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page, or watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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