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Report: Timberwolves near four-year, $50 million deal with Nikola Pekovic

Jul 10, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Bass AP

Nikola Pekovic is the kind of old-school big man who is a perfect fit next to Kevin Love in Minnesota.

Pekovic can score efficiently in the post (he scored 16.3 points a game on 52 percent shooting last year), is good on the pick and roll, grabs rebounds and on defense is a big body and a paint protector. Pekovic does the dirty work.

Which is why the Timberwolves are ready to pay to keep him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

That price is about the going rate for a quality NBA big man.

Minnesota and new GM Flip Saunders need to improve their relationship with Kevin Love and show him they can build a winner around him so he doesn’t opt out and bolt in the summer of 2015. So far they are doing that — Saunders has a much better relationship with Love than David Kahn did, and with additions such as Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer, the Timberwolves will be a playoff team next season if they stay healthy.

The retention of Pekovic fits right in line with all of that.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I can’t believe nobody went after Pek in free agency. I realize he was a restricted FA but take a chance… make him a gaudy offer. He’s a very effective and active center. Only thing that bothers me about him is his hands. He has those Joel Anthony fumble fingers with the ball.

  2. bucrightoff - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    One of the most underrated and underappreciated players in the NBA. Very strong player.

  3. dl3mk3 - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    corey brewer? i think not

  4. dl3mk3 - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    wow, didnt see that. brewer again. hope he is better 2nd time around

  5. hauts81 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    I wouldn’t say he’s a perfect fit next to Love. I wish he was a bit more athletic and more of a shot blocker/rim protector. But all the same, losing him would have left a big hole at center for the Wolves.

  6. alexjm3449 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    the big Peker.. The big Peker needs road Shved!!!

  7. savvybynature - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Is the Brewer signing a done deal? Cuz according to your own website it is not.

    • savvybynature - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      I would say the writers on this site should check with each other on their sources, but Helin wrote both articles.

  8. emosnar - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    ??? and Ellis can’t get 46mil and this bum gets 50? I would’ve fired my agent too. Perfect fit next to love my ass. Ask Love that same question. He doesn’t get this contract anywhere else but Minny. Tyler Hans is like wtf at least I got playoff pedigree, wish I could get 4 years… IM PSYCO T DAMMIT!!!

    • cbt22 - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:22 AM

      Do you watch the NBA? Pek is a monster in the post, can rebound, and is slowly becoming a pretty good defender. He is efficient and will probably become a top center by the end of the season. Ellis a great scorer and thats about it.

  9. dezglobal - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Kevin Love will leave the Timbos.

  10. blueballzny - Jul 10, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Kevin Love is leaving Minnesota as soon as he can. Sorry Timberwolves fans. Minnesota will not be an elite team in the West by the summer of ’15. Rubio is a very good pg, and Pekovic is definitely underrated. However, the furthest this team could possibly go in the playoffs is the 2nd round. Love has made it clear that he wants to win championships. The extra 1 year and $30 million Minnesota can offer may not be enough to keep him. Especially when you consider he will have much more exposure and opportunity to market himself in another city. He does not get the stardom and recognition that he deserves being stuck in Minnesota. Maybe that’s not important to him, but winning certainly is. Anyone who thinks he wouldn’t leave Minnesota to play with a superstar is kidding themselves.

    • albertmn - Jul 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      I love how everyone comes on here and says Love will leave and he gets no exposure in Minnesota. Yet, every fan of every other teams wants him, so therefore, he must be getting a lot of exposure. If he gets no exposure, how do all of you know so much about him?

      I don’t know what will happen with Love, but I hope he stays in MN. It depends on what the team is able to build around him and on how he does. If next season goes like the last one, maybe the Wolves aren’t as worried about retaining him anyway.

    • brewdogg - Jul 12, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      Is everyone in a large-market city this dumb? Let’s just ignore the fact that he took a non-max deal to stay in Minnesota already and move on to your interpretation of their playoff chances. Have you been paying attention? Let me give you a quick recap….

      Ricky Rubio
      Alexey Shved
      JJ Barea
      Kevin Martin
      Corey Brewer
      Shabazz Muhammad
      Chase Budinger
      Derrick Williams
      Kevin Love
      Donte Cunningham
      Nikola Pekovic
      Ronny Turiaf
      Gorgui Dieng

      We could split this group in two and beat the Knicks and Nets at the same time. Wake up and get off your ESPN-fueled bias.

  11. edenprairieballer - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    So thats why Love signed a contract extension before last season because he hates Minnesota? The Wolves are starting to look sick again!!

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