MINNEAPOLIS The Minnesota Timberwolves are still attempting to work out an agreement on a sign-and-trade deal to acquire small forward Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers, according to a league source.
The team hopes to resolve the situation by the end of the day, and if a sign-and-trade agreement cant be reached, it is poised to present Batum a restricted free agent -- with an offer sheet. In order to create cap space for that offer sheet, the team will likely be forced to buy out the contracts of retiring center Brad Miller and swingman Martell Webster; the deadlines on those buyouts were extended in the hopes of including them in a sign-and-trade deal.
Batum, a 23-year-old who has played four seasons with Portland, has averaged 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game over his career. In 2011-12, he had his best season, averaging 13.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Portland can match any offer presented to him, but he has expressed a desire to play in Minnesota.