The Minnesota Timberwolves have already shown their interest in Portland’s young forward, Nicolas Batum.
Batum has received a 4 year 45-50 million dollar contract from the Timberwolves and is now waiting on what Portland will do. Most likely Portland will do all it can to keep the French forward in their roster as his future is as bright as it can be.
Last season, Batum averaged nearly 14 points, 5 rebounds, and a block per game. His breakout was mainly caused by starting forward Gerald Wallace being shipped to the New Jersey, now Brooklyn, Nets.
If Batum decides to go to Minnesota, which I certainly do believe he should, he would receive at the most 12.5 million dollars per year (did I do my calculations correct?) which is pretty much high for an NBA player at his age and at his experience. However, I don’t doubt his talent at all but I certainly do wonder if he will be able to live up to the amount he is paid for. One player that comes to mind when I think about overpaid players is recently waived forward, Rashard Lewis. Lewis had fantastic seasons with the Orlando Magic, helping the franchise make it to the NBA Finals for the second time and first in the decade. The veteran forward would however begin to feel that he is worth more than how much he is paid for with the things he “believes” he does on the court. As a result, he got traded to Washington but was still being paid an amazing 21 million dollars which is millions of dollars higher than LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.
I definitely hope Nicolas Batum would not be the next Rashard Lewis. Yes, he’s being paid almost half of what Rashard is being paid at back then, but at his age and without him proving himself that much and getting paid with those digits, it puts a lot of pressure on the young forward.
Nonetheless, the Wolves should try to get him. But most likely, the Blazers will try to match it and keep Batum in Portland.
So Batum, the Twin Cities or the Rose City?