A year ago, the Timberwolves, under then-basketball president David Kahn, signed Portland Trail Blazers restricted free-agent forward Nicolas Batum to an offer sheet worth nearly $47 million over four years. Portland matched the offer but had to overpay considerably for Batum, and it's a good bet the Blazers were not thrilled by the Wolves' action.

When the free agent-market opens Monday, the Wolves have a star center, Nikola Pekovic, 27, who will become a restricted free agent -- the same as was Batum last summer. Re-signing Pekovic is the Wolves' top priority, and the team intends to do it.

It's unclear whether the Trail Blazers would consider signing Pekovic to an offer sheet as retribution for Batum or whether a signing would merely be business in the NBA. At the least, however, Pekovic's free-agent status makes the Wolves vulnerable for payback from Portland, which could make Minnesota overpay considerably to retain their popular 6-foot-11, 290-pounder.

I asked Wolves owner Glen Taylor on Tuesday if he's aware of the possibility.

"Yep, we think about that," Taylor said.

Taylor is a billionaire. Portland owner Paul Allen is a billionaire 15 times over. It's unclear whether Allen is a vindictive sort.

"I don't know if they would do that or not," Taylor said of the Trail Blazers.

Regarding the Batum signing, Taylor said the Wolves gave Portland "plenty of notice, we gave them options to trade, we did lots of things for them. But I suppose they could do that."

Taylor added, "It doesn't sound like very good business."