Jul 18, 2012, 5:47 PM EDT
There really was no surprise here. From Portland making the move to keep Batum to a quick spin that all is good and trying to put a contentious negotiations behind them and move on.
As was expected all along, Portland has officially matched the Minnesota four-year, $46 million offer and will keep Nicolas Batum, Blazers GM Neil Olshey confirmed to reporters at Summer League in Las Vegas, according to Ben Golliver at BlazersEdge.com. It’s not a shock, the Blazers have said they would do this all along and shot down sign-and-trade attempts by the Timberwolves.
These were contentious negotiations only because Batum’s agent (his brother) was frustrated after failed negotiations near the trade deadline and he worked hard to get Batum sent out of town. Already the Blazers are trying to spin that, according to Chris Haynes at CSNNW.com.
Olshey says Batum called him without Minnesota/agent knowledge to tell him he didn’t say those things & that he was told to say those things
Batum’s agent got him a big contract, at the end of the day that is his job. Batum has to mend fences because he will play basketball in Portland, that is his job. And Portland has kept one of the best young wing players in the game to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge, which was what they had to do.
It’s business. It’s the making sausage that is getting an NBA contract done. It’s not always pretty.