FanPost

Batum and the Raps

While reading an interview recap that was done with Glen Taylor, owner of the T'Wolves, he briefly discussed Nicolas Batum.

Taylor mentioned that the recruiting was done two ways. Essentially that Batum recruited Minnesota as much as they recruited him. After that, Taylor had this quote:

"There were three teams he was interested in — New Orleans and Toronto were the other ones — but he said they weren’t as far along as we were and that we were his preference right now."

So, apparently, we had a small shot at getting him with nothing going the other way. What I'm asking is this:

For 4 years, at roughly 46 million dollars, would you take a shot at Batum on the wing?

He's 23 right now, and is a competent shooter from all areas. He comes in at roughly, per-36 last year:

16-5-2-1-1. Shoots 57% True Shooting.

He's really good defensively, and his offensive and defensive ratings for his career are 116 and 107, respectively. He's got length, and athleticism, and he's a team player.

Despite all this... what's his ceiling? He'd likely be the best wing player we've had in years, in the prime of his career.

However, is that efficiency and defence worth him being likely the highest paid player on the team for the next 4 years? He seems to me, at best, to be a #2 or #3 guy on the pecking order. He's lining up to be in an Andre Iguodala type situation, solely because of his contract. A situation which sees a clear second banana get paid as if he were a first banana, likely tightening the salary strings for the next year or two at least.

To have him here, you of course wouldn't have signed Landry Fields, which brings our salary down 5 million this year. This is Jose's last year of his contract, and he certainly won't be around next year the way he's been shuffled. He has a lot to give to a winner.

That means next season our cap (without Fields and Jose) is 16 Million less, and Batum would take up roughly 11 of that, with the rest going towards a backup point guard, one would assume.

So, after all this, I ask: Looking at his stats, and his game, he seems like a clear winner, and an obvious target. Knowing this... do you touch his contract if you're the GM?

The link to the story for those interested: http://www.minnpost.com/sports/2012/10/timberwolves-candid-glen-taylor-offers-glimpse-inside-front-office

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