Minnesota Timberwolves sign Roy, agree to deal with Batum


brandon roy nicolas batum

Needing depth and an up-grade in talent on the wing, the Minnesota Timberwolves have looked west to sign former Portland Blazers shooting guard Brandon Roy and agree to an offer sheet with restricted free agent Nicolas Batum.

Batum’s agreement with Minnesota is reportedly a four year deal worth $45-50 million but new Blazers’ GM Neil Olshey has been adament that the team will match any offer sheet the French swingman signs.  Batum’s agent public stated though that his client doesn’t want to stay in Portland and thinks playing for Rick Adelman in Minnesota will be a better fit.

The 23-year old Batum hasn’t exactly lit up the league but has shown steady growth and progress suggesting that he hasn’t come close to reaching his potential.  If Portland lets Batum walk, he will certainly become the T-Wolves starting small forward, replacing Wesley Johnson who has been a massive disappointment in his two years in ‘Sota.

As for Roy, it appeared his NBA career was over just seven months ago when he announced his retirement prior to the start of the lockout shortened 2011-2012 season.  Roy has been battling knee injuries for the past couple of years and Portland decided to use their one-time amnesty clause to rid their salary cap of the almost $50 million he was owed over the final three years of his contract.

Those injury concerns were apparently short-lived though as Roy decided to make a comeback and visited with a few teams this off-season.  In the end, he chose to reunite with the team that originally drafted him in 2006 (Roy was selected sixth overall by Minnesota but dealt to Portland for Randy Foye on draft night) and signs a two-year deal worth about $10 million, or the mid-level exception assuming the Batum signing goes through.

If Roy is healthy, he will certainly provide a boost at shooting guard which the team was desperately searching for this off-season.  Yes, they did acquire Chase Budinger from the Rockets for the 18th pick but a reliable Roy is certainly a better option that playing Budinger, Wayne Ellington, or even Luke Ridnour at the two.

The T-Wolves created the cap space to make these moves by not extending qualifying offers to Michael Beasley or Anthony Randolph.  Minnesota will likely decline the team options for Martell Webster and Brad Miller (though Miller is expected to retire anyway), and they could also choose to amnesty Darko Milicic as well to create even more flexibility in free agency.  The Timberwolves have been in contact with Celtics restricted free agent Greg Stiemsma and Jordan Hill who could potentially replace Darko as back-up center behind Nikola Pekovic.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet.

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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