Recommendation:Â Batum arrived in Portland on Wednesday from Europe, where he is practicing with the French national team. He will take a physical before signing his contract Thursday, solidifying the Blazers' small forward slot in the starting lineup. It appears that the machinations of the past few weeks between Batum's agent and the two organizations were just fodder to ensure he procured the best possible deal. As the second-highest paid player in Portland, he will now have even more pressure to improve upon career-highs in points (13.9), rebounds (4.6), three-pointers made (1.8), blocks (1.0), and steals (1.0) from 2011-12. He should be able to do so if he experiences an expected minutes bump from last season's 30.4.
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Update:Â Batum was retained by the Blazers on Wednesday after his four-year offer sheet from the Timberwolves was matched, The Oregonian reports.