NBA Free Agency 2012: Blazers, Timberwolves In 'Grudge Match' Over Nicolas Batum

Despite repeated trade offers from Minnesota that included up to three future first-round picks and even 2011 No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams, the Portland Trail Blazers still do not want to see forward Nicolas Batum leave, says ESPN's Ric Bucher.

The Blazers offered Batum an extension last offseason that averaged around $5 million per season, but the Timberwolves are prepared to sign Batum to a four-year, $46.4 million offer sheet, according to Bucher.

Portland's front office does not believe Batum is worth upwards of $11 million per season, Bucher says, so it will seem odd if the Blazers refuse a sign-and-trade deal and allow Batum to sign a lucrative offer sheet they do not want to match.

For this reason, Bucher thinks the negotiations have turned into a political battle thanks to a lingering dispute over last year's Martell Webster trade, where Portland sent Webster to Minnesota for Ryan Gomes and the rights to Luke Babbitt, the No. 16 overall pick in 2011, despite knowing of Webster's existing back injury.

The Timberwolves' signing of former Blazers guard Brandon Roy, which would cancel Portland's insurance policy on the guard and put the Blazers back on the hook for up to $17 million, only served to anger Portland owner Paul Allen even more, according to Bucher.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, head over to Canis Hoopus. Check out SBNation's dedicated NBA sitefor all news and analysis.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Minnesota

You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Minnesota

You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.