The Trail Blazers moved one step closer Thursday to adding Joel Freeland to their frontcourt and took one step sideways in the drama-filled saga involving restricted free agent Nicolas Batum.

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that his team would sign Batum to a four-year, $46.5 million offer sheet "by the end of business" Thursday, offering hope that the drawn-out negotiations between the sides finally had progressed.

If such a deal emerged, the Blazers would have 72 hours to decide whether to match and retain their starting small forward.

But there was one hitch: By the end of business in Portland on Thursday, Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said the team had not yet received a signed offer sheet.

Minnesota and Batum reportedly agreed to the lucrative deal early Thursday, but the Timberwolves held off finalizing it to give Olshey and the Blazers one more day to consider negotiating a sign-and-trade. The sides have discussed deals to facilitate Batum's wish to join Minnesota, but Olshey has not been enticed.