ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)
Accordingto the agent for Portland Trail Blazers forward, Nicolas Batum, theywill not be holding off on deals to allow the Trail Blazers to sign acouple of free agents before the team tends to his client, who's arestricted free agent.
Thefirst good offer we get, we're going with that, Bouna Ndiaye ofComsport Management told CSNNW.com. We're not waiting foranything.
TheTrail Blazers had hoped they would be able to spend their 15-20million in cap space to sign at least two key free agents first.Being that the Trail Blazers own Batum's Bird rights, they could goover the cap to sign him.
However,if a team decides to approach Batum's camp with a front-loaded offerearly on, the Trail Blazers would be forced to make a decision onmatching that offer within three days.
Backin April, CSNNW.comgot word Batum would command 10-11 million this summer and ifthat number is accurate and the Trail Blazers were to match, thatwould be a significant amount of cap space tied-up, putting a damperon the flexibility the Trail Blazers were expecting to have.
TrailBlazers' acting general manager, Chad Buchanan, wouldn't disclose ifhe has asked Batum's agent to hold off on signing an offer sheetpromptly from another team in order to give them time to improvetheir roster via free agency.
Teamswith cap room who could use a promising wing player and make thingsdifficult for the Trail Blazers are the Toronto Raptors, BostonCeltics, New Orleans Hornets, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, and theCleveland Cavaliers.
Thoseare some of the teams to keep an eye out for and the San AntonioSpurs would love to add Batum, but will have to get creative in orderto land one of Tony Parker's best friends.
The Trail Blazers have until June 30 to extend a qualifying offer of 5.4 million making him a restricted free agent. July1 is the first day of free agency in which teams can negotiate withplayers but cannot sign until July 11.