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Nikola Pekovic agrees to 5-year, $60 million deal with Timberwolves

Aug 14, 2013, 3:02 PM EDT

Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Bass AP

Nikola Pekovic was a restricted free agent this summer, so despite the fact that negotiations seemed to be dragging on longer than expected, the team remained confident that a deal would get done eventually.

That day came on Wednesday, as the team locked up Pekovic with a contract worth $60 million over five years, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The deal will also include up to $8 million in incentive-related bonuses.

The annual figure is what the Timberwolves had been offering essentially from the very start, but the team wanted the deal to be four years instead of five. Caving on the additional season is likely what got the contract signed, as Pekovic’s team was reportedly asking for in the $15 million per year range in a later stage of the negotiations.

While teams weren’t lining up with offers to set the market value for Pekovic due to his restricted status, this is a reasonable contract for a player possessing his skill set.

Pekovic is a bruising interior player who can score in a variety of ways, and is capable of dominating the glass at times, as well. He averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 31.6 minutes per game last season, all of which were career highs.

“Retaining Pek was our No. 1 priority this offseason and we’re very excited that he’s chosen to continue his career in Minnesota,” Flip Saunders said, in a statement released by the team. “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 front courts in the NBA for a long time to come.”

  1. dylude - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Wow. It’s still true… Big men get big bucks in the NBA and its always called reasonable.

    I’m no longer believing that the trade market for Asik’s $8mil/year cap hit is dry.

    Wolves better hope Love stays or this was money that could have been spent bringing in younger 3 and D wings.

    • fanofevilempire - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      you telling me we can’t get an American for this job either, omg!

  2. money2long - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    and love couldn’t get a 5th yr. o well. can’t wait to see them play.

    • illogic87 - Aug 15, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      We have a different GM now…numnuts

      • paleihe - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        The new GM doesn’t matter. Love still didn’t get a five year deal.

  3. ranoversquarells - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I miss the days of “The Dream”, “The Admiral”, etc. Even with Howard, today’s centers suckkkkkk …

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 15, 2013 at 2:35 AM

      You know what, there aren’t the big, premier superstar centers like there were back in the day, but there sure as hell are a lot more “B”-rate centers then there have ever been, I’ll admit that much.

  4. skinsfanwill - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Both are overrated and won’t make the playoffs. Defense is what wins. Neither one of these guys even attempt to play defense.

    • knodtl1 - Aug 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      You’re joking about Pek right, Love does need to work on getting blocks/steals but he definitely rebounds enough to overcome that problem.

  5. thekingdave - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    The big man era died when genetic freaks of nature started suiting up at the 1-4 positions in the mid to late 90s. It isn’t coming back.

  6. scottieplongballs - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    The Wolves needed him to continue to progress. You cant let a rising, productive, bruising center go and expect to improve as a team. Do you clowns know anything about B-ball?!

    • trevor123698 - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      at 5 years and 60 mill for an oft injured player maybe you can

  7. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Funny how retaining Pek was their #1 priority… yet they took months to get it done. In fact they completed several other deals before signing Pek.

  8. scottieplongballs - Aug 14, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Its called negotiating! It takes time. Moron

  9. legend30 - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    They had all the leverage and they still ended up giving him a 5 year $60 million deal. Kevin Love just two more years until 2015.

    • legend30 - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Think about it, who else was going to pay him that contract at this point in free agency? Every team that has cap space is tanking. They could easily offer him a 4 year – $36 million contract.

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