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Report: Spurs to go hard after Nicolas Batum this summer

Apr 24, 2012, 12:12 PM EDT

Nicolas Batum, Greg Stiemsma AP

Nicolas Batum is a restricted free agent that the Trail Blazers do not want to give up this summer — but that’s going to cost them. A lot of teams covet him. Smart teams.

Like the San Antonio Spurs.

They are going to come after him this summer reports Chris Haynes at

The number I’m hearing Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum will command this offseason is $10-11 million per, according to a few league executives when Batum becomes a restricted free agent.

And, I’m being told by multiple sources that the San Antonio Spurs will make a hard push to attain the promising small forward.

Because Batum is a restricted free agent, the Blazers can match any offer to him. They had a chance to get a contract extension done before January 25 —for less than they will pay this summer — but not only could they not reach a deal the talks created a lot of bad blood between the agent and team. Of course, when it comes to money that kind of ill will can disappear quickly. There also were teams that asked about Batum at the trade deadline but the Blazers were not listening.

Batum is a coveted swingman for a reason — he is one of the best wing defenders in the league, plays smart on offense and averages 13.9 points per game this season, plus he is shooting 39 percent from three. There isn’t a team in the league that couldn’t use Batum.

This summer some will be willing to pay for him, the question becomes will the Blazers match. Which in part may depend on who there GM is at that time. But that’s another issue.

  1. Justin - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Unless they swing a trade for him I don’t see this happening by just offering him a contract. They still need to get Duncan to re-sign (unless he has already I could be wrong) but even without his contract on the books Minnesota still has more cap room to make an offer. It would make that team deadly though.

  2. dysraw1 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Nick Batum is another bad dude in this league it does not surprize me one bit that teams want him

  3. rickditka - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:16 PM


  4. willardj - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Hmmm, so does this mean James Anderson is done with the Spurs? The Spurs have so many SG/SF under contract and Pop has continued to keep Anderson on the bench (even in blowouts). If I were a team in need of a backup SF or a team looking for a SF prospect, I would definitely go after James Anderson.

  5. willardj - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Also, I feel like someone is going to get fired in the San Antonio front office after this. They usually don’t allow these kinds of things to leak.

  6. 00maltliquor - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Batum’s a very nice, solid player. That being said whatever GM paying him 10-11 million a year is an incompetent idiot. That would put Batum in the 2nd-3rd option (occasional all-star range) And cripple the salary cap which is already ridiculously low and with the new luxary tax fines getting heavier each year this would be franchise suicide. Teams obviously haven’t adjusted to the new lower cap and are still willing to spend like the old CBA was still in place. I wouldn’t give him a dollar over 7 mill.

    If he was worth that much then why in the hell aren’t the Blazers in the playoffs with Batum and Aldridge plus all those other solid players before the trade!? If it didn’t work with him being a 6th man how is it going to translate with him being the 2nd??

  7. trickybastard - Apr 25, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    @ 00maltliquor: amen. I could not have said it better except that maybe Kurt Helin is getting paid by Batum’s agent to create a market for him.

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