PORTLAND, Ore. - The Trail Blazers have met with restricted free-agent Nicolas Batum and told him they'd like to keep him in Portland.
That's bad news for the guy that's been called the Timberwolves Plan A free agent accuistion. Batum met earlier this week with the Timberwolves and reported was discussing a 4-year deal worth about $45 million.
Batum's agent tells The Associated Press that his client has reached a verbal agreement with the Timberwolves on a new deal and wants the Blazers to let him go to Minnesota.
Bouna Ndiaye says Batum met with Blazers officials including GM Neil Olshey on Thursday. He says Ndiaye has great respect for the Blazers and their fans, but feels the best fit for him is playing in Minnesota under head coach Rick Adelman and alongside point guard Ricky Rubio.
Ndiaye declined to give the terms of Minnesota's offer. Batum can sign the offer on July 11 and the Blazers would have three days to match.
A Blazers spokesman confirmed the meeting with Batum and reiterated that the team intends to match any offer that the French forward might attract. Portland earlier extended Batum a qualifying offer.
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