Earlier today, the Trail Blazers announced that they have officially matched the Timberwolves’ offer for forward Nicolas Batum. It always seemed like Portland was going to keep the restrictred free agent this summer, but Minnesota made the Blazers dig deep in order to do so. The offer sheet for Batum was reportedly $46.5MM over four years and includes incentives and a 15% trade kicker that could increase the overall value to $50MM. Here’s more out of Portland..
- General Manager Neil Olshey says that the Blazers have a $3.5MM trade exception from the Raymond Felton deal with the Knicks, meaning that they are still technically over the cap, tweets Jeff Kramer of Storyteller’s Contracts.
- Olshey told reporters, including Ben Golliver of Blazer’s Edge (via Twitter) that the offer sheet wasn’t for as much as reports indicated, though he did not give a figure for its actual value. The GM also acknowledged that the club did its due diligence and talked sign-and-trade with Minnesota before opting to retain Batum.
- Olshey reiterated that he is in “no rush” to hire a head coach and said his search will extend beyond the summer league period, tweets Joe Freeman of The Oregonian.
- Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson says that the Blazers inquired about him in regards to the head coaching job but hasn’t been asked to interview, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Earlier this week it was reported that the club will interview Patrick Ewing for the job, but it is believed to just be a courtesy.