Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 7/2/12

Several outlets are reporting Trail Blazers combo forward Nicolas Batum will meet with the Timberwolves as Minnesota continues to be extremely active early on in free agency. Batum could be a huge get for the Minnesota Timberwolves in free agency.

Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and Batum could form a young nucleus that has the potential to be lethal.

Love is already an All Star, and one of the best power forwards in the NBA. If Rubio returns to form, his ceiling is limitless as a lead guard as well.

For the last few years, Portland has been waiting for Batum to take that next step. He still could, but with Roy Hibbert's max contract offer being discussed, there may not be enough dollars available in Portland for Nic to take that step in the Pacific Northwest.

Minnesota's interest in the young small forward who averaged 14 points and five assists in 59 games last season could ultimately decide that as well.

Dwight Jaynes from CSNNW.com: Restricted free-agent Trail Blazer forward Nic Batum is flying from Paris to Minneapolis tonight and will meet with Timberwolves officials about a proposed offer sheet.

The decision by Batum to take the visit -- and it is believed that Minnesota is one of his top choices -- is believed to signal he's serious about signing with the Timberwolves and thus Portland's planned offer sheet to Indiana unrestricted free agent Roy Hibbert is in peril, to some degree.

Batum cannot sign the offer sheet until July 11 but by merely agreeing to it on that date, his cap hold -- now about $5.4 million -- would increase and thereby endanger Portland's ability to make a max-contract offer to Hibbert. When Batum, or any restricted free agent, signs an offer sheet, the cap hold with his original team immediately becomes the figure that he's signed for on the new offer sheet.

With reports the Timberwolves will not sign Michael Beasley, it appears their interest in additional frontline help could also involve Greg Stiemsma.

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