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Updated: July 12th, 2012 11:32am
Wolves waive Darko Milicic with amnesty to offer Nicolas Batum

Wolves waive Darko Milicic with amnesty to offer Nicolas Batum

by Tom Pelissero
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The Minnesota Timberwolves still are trying to work out a way to get restricted free agent Nicolas Batum from the Portland Trail Blazers. Trade talks have failed, though, and they cleared the necessary cap space to present Batum an offer sheet by making a long-expected move.

The Wolves announced on Thursday they've waived center Darko Milicic and designated him their amensty player, meaning he'll be subject to a blind bidding process among the other teams and become a free agent if he isn't claimed.

Milicic has two years and $10 million left on his contract, with $7 million guaranteed.

A report on Wednesday night suggested the Wolves were working on a three-team trade that would have sent Portland two first-round draft picks and Chicago forward Kyle Korver to the Blazers. But multiple reports on Thursday morning said the teams couldn't agree on a deal.

Wolves owner Glen Taylor told the Star Tribune that Batum would be presented an offer sheet by day's end. There were no signs that happened, though. 

The offer sheet to Batum reportedly will be a four-year, $46.5 million pact with incentives that could increase the total value to $50 million. Blazers general manager Neil Oshey has said the team will match, even though Batum has made clear he wants a fresh start in Minnesota.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft, Milicic quickly became a punchline in stops with Detroit, Orlando, Memphis and New York before experiencing a minor surge with the Wolves in 2010-11, when he averaged a career-best 8.8 points per game.

But he was back to the same old Darko last season, averaging only 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game on his way out of new coach Rick Adelman's rotation.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Darko Milicic