Spurs have tough competition for Batum

Almost two months ago, Project Spurs reported that Portland Trail Blazer Nicolas Batum would be interested in joining the Spurs. The restricted free agent will have plenty of teams making offers for him, but he’s currently being pursued pretty hard by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“The Wolves are expected to offer a four-year deal that could approach $50 million for Batum, a 6-8 restricted free-agent swingman who’d address two of their biggest needs — small forward and shooting guard — with one big signing.”

It looks like Batum isn’t the only player on the T-Wolves’ wish list though. They also reportedly contacted Boston’s Greg Stiemsma and the L.A. Lakers’ Jordan Hill. Minnesota is looking to add to their talented core of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Any one of those three players would help, but I would probably want Batum the most.

For the Spurs, Batum may be a little bit out of their price range. It’s probably a dream to think the talented guard/forward would want to sign with San Antonio, but the Spurs do have the French connection. Batum will be playing with Tony Parker and Boris Diaw for the French national team in the upcoming London Olympics. I suppose there’s a chance that TP and Boris are in Batum’s ear telling him about all the joys of the Riverwalk.

Batum is a young guy (only 23) who has got some good NBA experience. He’s come along well in his four-year career and would be a big asset to the Spurs. That being said, a guy with Batum’s skill set is not the biggest need for the team right now. Since he’s going to be very expensive, the Spurs would be better off spending their money on a big man to take the load off Tim Duncan next year. Unless Batum is extremely loyal to his French teammates, his price will likely be too high. Probably best to focus the attention elsewhere.

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