Thursday July 12th, 2012

The Portland Trail Blazers have pledged to match the reported four-year, $45 million offer sheet that the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to with free-agent forward Nicolas Batum.

A league source tells ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that the two sides are discussing a sign-and-trade deal for Batum that would grant him his desire to play in Minneapolis and give Portland something in return. The Blazers would get two first-round picks and a veteran small forward (presumably to replace Batum in their starting lineup) from a third team.

If the deal cannot be worked out Wednesday night, the source said, Minnesota would officially sign Batum to the offer sheet and wait to see if Portland indeed matches.

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