Northwest Rumors: Blazers, Lawson, Miller, Batum

The Oregonian's Joe Freeman examines the decisions the Blazers face in advance of the October 31st deadline for exercising their 2013/14 team options on Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams. According to Freeman, the team could come within $500K of having enough cap space to sign a free agent to a maximum-salary deal next summer if it declines all three options. Freeman seems to think, given the makeup of the Blazers roster, it would make the least sense to pick up Babbitt's option, despite the injury to Williams that's expected to keep him out the entire season. Check out other option decisions facing teams with our Rookie Contract Option Tracker, and read on for from the Blazers and other Northwest Division clubs.

  • Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post suggests Ty Lawson and new agent Happy Walters could be in line for a five-year, $65MM extension from the Nuggets before the October 31st deadline. Hochman also passes along some advice for Lawson from new teammate Andre Iguodala, who re-signed with the Sixers in 2008 after failing to come to an extension agreement in 2007.
  • Andre Miller has been an ironman over his 13-year NBA career, missing only six regular season games, but he's sitting out of select preseason games for the first time, Aaron J. Lopez of notes. The Nuggets signed the 36-year-old Miller to a three-year, $14.625MM deal this summer that includes a partial guarantee for the final season.
  • Nicolas Batum told Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune he signed his offer sheet with Minnesota this summer knowing he'd be pleased to wind up with either the Timberwolves or the Blazers"I chose Minnesota because I knew (Portland) could match," Batum said. "I knew those two teams were going to be the best options for me. I wouldn’t have signed with anybody else. And I wanted to challenge the Blazers, to see if they really like me or not."

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