Portland Trail Blazers restricted free-agent forward Jake Layman has agreed to a three-year, $11.5 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports told ESPN.
The deal will be part of a sign-and-trade that the Blazers agreed upon to accommodate Layman's desire to join the Timberwolves. Minnesota had the ability to sign Layman to an offer sheet, and Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey allowed Layman the chance to join the Wolves without the aggravation of that process.
"We're extremely appreciative of how hard Neil Olshey worked with us to accommodate what we were trying to accomplish in sign-and-trade," Bartelstein told ESPN. "The deal couldn't have happened without the Blazers looking out for Jake's best interests."
In general, these are accommodations that teams will make to validate their mantras that they're indeed "player-first" organizations, especially for homegrown and well-regarded organizational players such as Layman.
Seven years ago, Olshey made a similar gesture with the Indiana Pacers, who planned to match a four-year, $58 million offer sheet that Portland was preparing for restricted free agent Roy Hibbert. Ultimately, Olshey let former Indiana general manager Donnie Walsh simply re-sign Hibbert to spare the two teams the acrimony that comes with offer sheets.
Under new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, the Wolves have added Layman, No. 6 overall pick Jarrett Culver of Texas Tech and free agent Noah Vonleh to the roster this offseason. Layman joins former Blazers assistant David Vanterpool, the new Wolves associate head coach, in Minnesota.