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Updated: July 6th, 2012 1:45pm
Wolfson: Derrick Williams could be key to 3-team trade for Nic Batum

Wolfson: Derrick Williams could be key to 3-team trade for Nic Batum

by Doogie
1500ESPN.com

Already appropriate with Ricky Rubio, the Minnesota Timberwolves hope their marketing campaign "United We Run" can resonate even more with the addition of 23-year-old restricted free agent Nic Batum.

However, a team source on Friday afternoon fully acknowledged the challenges in making that happen, even after they finalized a four-year offer sheet with Batum on Thursday that's worth a reported $45 million.

According to the source, the way to get Batum here is still via a sign-and-trade. David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, will continue to talk with the Portland Trail Blazers throughout the weekend.

One scenario involves a three-way trade with Philadelphia. Andre Iguodala would go to Portland, Derrick Williams would go as part of a package to the Sixers and Batum would come to Minnesota. So far, Portland is balking.

If Portland doesn't change its mind, the Wolves could revisit talks solely with Philadelphia about Iguodala. But as has been the case since the teams first started talking two years ago, the Wolves aren't big fans of his contract.

It has two years left -- the second is a player option -- at approximately $30 million total.

Even if that three-way deal fails, it's expected the Wolves would exhaust all other options to land Batum, who was on a plane back to his Paris home on Friday afternoon.

Roy's deal not fully guaranteed

While Batum is a long shot, free agent Brandon Roy will sign with the Wolves next Wednesday after the league's moratorium period is lifted.

A source with knowledge of the contract said it's a two-year deal for $10.4 million, but the second year is non-guaranteed.

In other words, if Roy's knees, which contain no cartilage, force him to retire again, the Wolves won't owe him any money beyond the $5.2 million in the first year.

More options

The Wolves have reached out to unrestricted free agent two-guard Courtney Lee, who has a big fan in Wolves coach Rick Adelman. It's even possible a visit is set up soon.

For now, the Wolves have no other visits scheduled. The team source indicated Lee is a higher priority than fellow free-agent guards O.J. Mayo and Lou Williams.

The Wolves have not had any trade talks with Atlanta about forward Josh Smith, long considered a Kahn favorite.

Kahn was supposed to talk to restricted free agent Greg Stiemsma's agent on Friday afternoon, but asked to reschedule for tomorrow.

The Wolves still plan on adding a big man this summer, and Stiemsma ranks slightly ahead of Jordan Hill on their priority list.

Unlike Stiemsma, Hill is unrestricted, which makes his acquisition easier. Hill was in for a visit on Monday.

Darren "Doogie" Wolfson is the jack-of-all-trades sports guy for 5 Eyewitness News and a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Darren | @darrenwolfson
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