Timberwolves present Batum offer sheet to Olshey in Las Vegas

Timberwolves present Batum offer sheet to Olshey in Las Vegas
July 15, 2012, 10:37 pm
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By DWIGHT JAYNES (@dwightjaynes)

The Minnesota Timberwolves have presented their offer sheet for Nic Batum to the Portland Trail Blazers, setting in motion the three-day period the Blazers will have to match the offer.

A representative of the Timberwolves hand-delivered the document to Portland General Manager Neil Olshey in Las Vegas, where his Trail Blazers are preparing for their opening summer-league game tonight at 7:30.

The offer sheet is said to be for a four-year deal at 46.4 million, with bonuses that could bring it to 50 million. The Trail Blazers have said all along they will match the offer sheet for Batum and have resisted many attempts from Minnesota to do a sign-and-trade deal.

The Trail Blazers have three days to match the contract and could use that time to add players under the salary cap before Batum officially becomes a Trail Blazer. Portland can reach the cap limit with other players, then bring Batum back.

At any rate, it would be an incredible turn of events if Portland does not match. The Trail Blazers, even if they don't want to take on additional players and their salaries in a deal, have turned down sign-and-trade proposals involving as many as three first-round draft picks. If you don't want draft choices for Batum, it would not make a lot of sense to give him up for free.