The Minnesota Timberwolves and restricted free agent big man Nikola Pekovic have agreed to a multi year deal said to be in the realm of $60 million, reported ESPN this morning.
The 27-year old Montenegrin center had been courted by other NBA teams, but wasn’t extended an offer due to said franchises being wary of the Wolves desire to hold on to Pekovic. Wolves president Flip Saunders had expressed his intention to re-sign him as the team’s number one priority throughout the off season, and seemed ecstatic that the two parties had reached an agreement which will see Pekovic in Minnesota for a further 5 seasons.
“We’re very excited that he’s chosen to continue his career in Minnesota,” Saunders said. “Thanks to a lot of hard work and determination, Pek has developed into one of the NBA’s premier centers and is entering the prime of his career. We envision Pek and Kevin Love being the ‘Bruise Brothers’ and forming one of the best frontcourts in the NBA for a long time to come.”
Having already acquired Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer this summer, the Timberwolves are now in a good position to make a big statement in a stacked Western conference, and the Pekovic deal further solidifies the team’s chances of remaining a healthy, competitive force. Pekovic played 62 games last season, averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds a game, showcasing a value in the pick and role as well as well as a huge figure defensively. Should they remain healthy, the Wolves are indeed another threat in the West.
Pekovic will return to the United States from his home in Montenegro before NBA teams resume training camp.