Big news on this fine, humid Thursday evening. Just 24 hours after the Wild shocked the hockey world, Kahn dishes out $60 million to two superb potential free agent acquisitions in a double-move designed to remodel the Wolves destitute wing positions.
According to several reports and allegedly first reported by Jason Quick of The Oregonian, the Wolves have come to an agreement with 3-time All-Star and recent retiree Brandon Roy on a 2-year contract reportedly worth just over $10 million. I mention Roy first because he is the only sure bet here to be in a Wolves uniform next season as Batum is only getting the offer sheet that Portland will likely match. Roy, as you know, was drafted by the Wolves in 2006 and quickly traded for Randy Foye in what was arguably the worst trade in franchise history. Roy had a terrific run in Portland as a multiple all-star and was forced into early retirement due to a degenerative knee condition. Now, after a year off and a series of high-profile, experimental knee treatments, Roy will give it a go again. My take: an absolute superb risk. Only the deeply cynical Wolves fans can dislike this as it involved a below average salary and a potential high return at the position the Wolves struggled mightily at. The contract will likely eat into cap space, but this is a good move to make. However, expectations must be tempered, as Roy will likely miss chunks of time over these two years. Regardless, this is a really solid signing and quality risk to take. TWB-approved.
Minutes later (and had you even attempted to run and grab something to drink you would have missed it) it was reported by the AP that the Wolves agreed to terms on an offer sheet with Nic Batum worth $45 million + bonuses and a well-reported desire for Batum to resume his career in Minnesota alongside Roy, Rubio and Darko Milicic. Just hours ago, fans were tying the noose after it was reported Portland would match any offer. Yours truly, your self-proclaimed resident Debbie Downer McWetblanket thought most hope was lost. How quickly things change. Portland is likely to match this offer, but at the very least it is a good, strong offer the Wolves shouldn’t even flinch at giving. Kahn is calling Portland’s bluff and bless him for doing so. Why not? What is nice about the new CBA is restricted free agent contract decisions must be made now 3-days after the offer sheet is signed vs. 7 in the previous CBA. This will help the Wolves pursue their contingency plans quicker if and when Portland decides to match the offer prior to July 14th (3 days after the moratorium period ends and Batum is likely signed). I am glad this was reported in tandem with the Roy signing. That makes the Batum offer sheet/match implications a brighter move in context.
A bad day for the Wolves turned into a great day. Hats off to David Kahn for Roy, and 45 million hats off to Kahn if we get Batum out of this.
It’s about time. It feels weird writing something optimistic.