The Trail Blazers will have a good deal of cap space at their disposal this summer, and were hoping to spend most of it on free agents before shifting their focus to restricted free agent Nicolas Batum. However, according to agent Bouna Ndiaye, Batum won't necessarily hold off on deals to accommodate the Blazers.
"The first good offer we get, we're going with that," Batum's agent told Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. "We're not waiting for anything."
Depending on which options are exercised and which free agents are renounced, the Blazers could have up to about $20MM in cap space this summer. Because the team holds Batum's Bird rights, Portland would be able to sign free agents using that space, then go over the cap to re-sign Batum. If Batum signs an offer sheet with another team though, the Blazers will only have three days to match the offer.
Batum's cap hold when the offseason begins will be about $5.39MM, 250% of his prior salary, but he's expected to receive offers with an annual salary that exceeds that amount. If a club were to sign Batum to an offer sheet worth $10MM annually, the forward's free agent amount would rise from $5.39MM to $10MM, limiting the Blazers' cap flexibility.