Wolves must wait until Sunday to submit offer sheet to obtain Batum
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The Minnesota Timberwolves' long-winded pursuit of Portland Trailblazers forward Nicolas Batum is still several days from reaching a conclusion.
Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn confirmed on Friday via a teleconference that the team will submit an offer sheet to obtain Batum from the Trailblazers, but must wait until Martell Webster clears waivers.
Webster, who was released by the Wolves on Friday afternoon in attempt to clear cap space, is set to officially bypass waivers at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday. At that point, per NBA rules, the Wolves will be free to submit an offer. The Trailblazers will then have an opportunity to counter.
Kahn added the Wolves would prefer to work out a sign-and-trade for Batum. Negotiations in that regard will continue until Sunday.
"I know Nicolas and the Timberwolves prefer this culminating in a sign and trade, but restricted free agency is what it is, and it's certainly the Portland Trailblazers prerogative to match what ever offer sheet we tender or for that matter not engage in a trade," Kahn said.
"We continue to hope to make some kind of trade with the Trailblazers, but it's our intention and our obligation, I feel to tender an offer sheet to Nicolas Batum."
Shortly after the teleconference, Comcast SportsNet Northwest reported that Kahn confirmed in a one-on-one interview with the network that Batum signed the Wolves' offer sheet on Thursday, but the league deemed the offer invalid.
While the Wolves have proven that they aren't backing down from their pursuit of Batum, there is a concern that other available players could disappear from the market before a deal is reached with Portland.
One league source told 1500ESPN.com on Friday evening that shooting guard Courtney Lee -- whom the Wolves have strong interest in -- may not be available once the Batum saga finally finishes. While money talks, his camp will only wait so long.
However, Kahn insists he is not worried about potential targets not being available.
"We've been talking to agents today, just as the agents have been talking to other teams," Kahn said. "And I think it's just a matter of maintaining communication with those agents and making ourselves as transparent as possible about explaining what the timetable is, what kind of room we might have if an offer was matched and what kind of room we won't have if an offer was matched."
Dean Berhow-Goll contributed to this report.