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.
With all the different Nicolas Batum trade scenarios, I'm hearing Derrick Williams is "untouchable." #Blazers— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 10, 2012
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.