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John Hollinger on Batum Offer Sheet

7

"Minnesota seems set to offer Nicolas Batum a four-year, $44 million offer sheet, and it's one I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, signing a young, tall wing who can shoot is almost always worth it, and in restricted free agency you pretty much have to overbid to pry a player loose -- especially when your average temperature is 12 Kelvin. On the other hand, I like Minnesota a lot better with a true shooting guard rather than all those 6-8 to 6-10 players they're asking to play the guard positions. Either Batum or Chase Budinger would have to play the 2 given their present lineup, at least if they want a real NBA player there, so unless the Wolves have another trade cooking that we don't know about, this is a weird fit. Additionally, Batum's on-court off-court data suggests he may be wildly overrated. While lauded for his defensive potential, there is little-to-no evidence that he's been an impactful defender in the actual games; in fact, there's mounting evidence that he may be lousy at defense. It's possible he becomes an $11 million player, but he certainly hasn't been one up 'til now. ... I would lean toward matching if I were Portland, but this is not a clear call. If they don't want to, their best move might be to involve Minnesota in sign-and-trade talks between now and the 11th -- say, for Luke Ridnour, given the Blazers' point guard needs -- which would also allow them to time the deal when it suits them given their other cap plans."

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