Blazers Notes: Batum, Hickson, Offseason Plans

Earlier today we learned that Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford will decline his 2012/13 option worth $5.23MM.  Here's more on Portland from Jason Quick of The Oregonian..

  • We learned yesterday that the club is likely to match offers for Nicolas Batum.  The Blazers could just sign Batum to a long-term deal but acting GM Chad Buchanan plans to keep the forward in restricted status in order to have more flexibility.  Batum's qualifying offer will place a $5.4MM hold onto the Blazers' salary cap, which should be $3-5MM less than what it would take to sign him under a long-term deal. 
  • The club is not yet sure if they'll make a qualifying offer to J.J. Hickson.  The forward, picked up off of waivers from the Kings this season, has said that he would like to remain in Portland.  The 23-year-old averaged 15.1 PPG and 8.3 RPG in 19 games for the Blazers this season.
  • Buchanan said that the club's top two priorities this summer are finding a starting point guard and finding a starting center.

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