The Minnesota Timberwolves made the shooting guard position a top priority this offseason. But the guy they wanted most of all won’t be going anywhere.
The Portland Trail Blazers matched the four-year, $45 million offer sheet given to Nicolas Batum by the Minnesota Timberwolves, which will keep the 23-year-old Frenchman in the Pacific Northwest.
The Wolves can take some consolation in the fact that they were able to get a conference foe to spend lots of money. But at the same time, Wednesday’s news was no doubt disappointing for the club.
Many experts agreed that Batum’s style of play would have been a great fit for head coach Rick Adelman‘s system in Minnesota. Batum averaged 14 points per game last season, and he has shown the ability to use his 6-foot-8 frame on defense to give the opponent fits.
As the Batum saga has drawn out, the free-agent pool for shooting guards has thinned. Courtney Lee is among the better shooting guards available, having scored 11 points per game and made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts last season for Houston.
With Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio (who is rehabbing from injury), the Wolves have two key building blocks going forward. But I still think they need one more significant piece. Could they go out and trade for Philadelphia guard Andre Iguodala and his massive contract? And would Iguodala be that piece?