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NBA Free Agency 2012: Nicolas Batum Signs Offer Sheet From Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been trying to get their hands on Nicolas Batum, a restricted free agent from the Portland Trail Blazers. Initially, Minnesota was hoping that the Trail Blazers would be content letting him go, but it quickly became apparent that Portland planned to match "any" offer from another team on Batum. So instead, they turned to the trade market.

As it happens, the Trail Blazers don't believe that the Timberwolves have anything they could trade that would make the trade worth it on their end. Preliminary speculation had the Timberwolves sending multiple first-round picks and also getting a third team involved, but all of that may now be off the table.

That's because Batum has signed an offer sheet from Minnesota for 4 years, $46.5 million, according to Comcast SportsNet Northwest writer Chris Haynes:

A source close to the situation has indicated Nic Batum has just signed a Minnesota offer sheet. The contract is for 4 years, $46.5 million. The Blazers now have 72 hours to match the offer.

It's already been noted that Batum wants to play in Minnesota. He'd be much happier in Minnesota, stating that it is where he wants him and his family to be. That being said, the Trail Blazers seem to have the space to match this offer and have three days to do so.

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.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.