By Marc Weinreich
July 15, 2012

The Portland Trail Blazers have until July 18 to match the Minnesota Timberwolves' offer sheet to Nicolas Batum. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed Portland Trail Blazers restricted free agent Nicolas Batum to an offer sheet on Sunday evening, according to a tweet from Jason Quick of The Oregonian.

Although terms of the offer have yet not yet been disclosed, Ric Bucher of reported that the Blazers believe that the $46 million over four-years rumored to be offered to Batum from Minnesota is too expensive for the team's taste:

The Blazers have resisted every overture even though multiple sources say Portland management believes $46.4 million is vastly more than Batum is worth.

If the Blazers don't match the offer by July 18, Batum will officially become a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and will thus end what Bucher has called a "grudge match" for the French forward.

Batum reportedly expressed a preference of playing for Minnesota over Portland, according to Ray Richardson, Wolves beat writer for the St. Pioneer Press. 

Although Bucher said the price tag may be too much for the Blazers management to match, team general manager Neil Olshey has said all along that Portland has every intention of retaining Batum.

In his fourth season in the league, Batum made $2.1 million with Portland last season, averaging 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, a steal and a block in 30 minutes per game for the Blazers.

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