Report: Nikola Pekovic and Timberwolves working on four-year, $50 million deal

Zach Harper —  July 10, 2013 — 13 Comments

Pek Meat

For about a week and a half, we’ve been waiting on a team to make a big offer to Nikola Pekovic and for the Wolves to have to make a decision on just how much they love the big man.

Would he get a crazy max contract offer from someone like the Portland Trail Blazers or Cleveland Cavaliers in an attempt to put the Wolves in a precarious decision of having to overextend their cap situation to match the offer sheet? What would the market for Pek be? Was there a threshold for their confidence in spending for his services? Would the go over $10 million annually? When would the restricted free agency dance commence and conclude?

After 10 days of very little chatter about Pekovic, as the Dwight Howard domino has fallen and the Andrew Bynum rumors are starting to swell, it looks like the Timberwolves are ready to end this dance, in what can be viewed as both a savvy and risky move. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Wolves and Pek are about to agree on a four-year, $50 million contract extension for the Monster from Montenegro. 

The savvy part of this move by the Wolves to circumvent the process of waiting for the market to be set by a potential suitor is they have 1) gone out and showed Pekovic and his agent a certain level of respect when it comes to setting the market for the big man and 2) if the Cavs get dismissed by Andrew Bynum and he goes to the Mavericks, there is no “ah screw this, let’s just offer a near max deal to Pekovic and see if the Wolves are too chicken to match it” possibility.

We saw Brook Lopez get a max deal from the Brooklyn Nets last summer after the threat of losing him to an offer sheet by the Charlotte Bobcats meant their 1% chance of being able to trade for Dwight Howard would have gone to 0%. We saw the Indiana Pacers pony up a max deal to Roy Hibbert with the Portland Trail Blazers attempting to get the All-Star center on their side of the arena. At a certain point, some team could throw a contract at the wall for Pekovic and see if it sticks. The Wolves decided to circumvent that potential problem by working out a deal and setting the market price for Pek.

I’m fairly on the record about keeping Pek on this team, pretty much at all costs. For me, I think this move was necessary and I think grabbing him around $12 million per season over the next four years, which takes him to age 31, is a pretty great deal for such a unique mixture of strength in the post and on the boards with a solid stroke at the free throw line. This is a big part of the core for the Wolves that is supposed to bring this franchise back into the playoffs. Whether that works or not, I’m happy the big fella is about to re-sign with this team at a fair market price.

Zach Harper

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13 responses to Report: Nikola Pekovic and Timberwolves working on four-year, $50 million deal

  1. Had to be done, so I’m definitely glad the Wolves offered it. Hopefully we can get this worked out and start to speculate on how far this new roster (injury free) goes this next season

  2. I like it. He’s shown he can work hard and improve. He’s the perfect C to pair with Love who is more of a shooter at PF although he can score inside pretty good.

  3. From what I’ve read a Luke Ridnour/ Corey Brewer trade might be in the mix. I’d like to hear your thoughts (or anyone’s) on that for the Wolves.

  4. Last I heard it was a 3 team deal with Ridnour going to the Thunder. I am not sure what goes to Denver in that deal.

  5. Sure wish the trade rumors included Barea instead of Ridnour…

  6. I was wrong, the rumor is Ridnour to the Bucks. Martin will be a sign and trade instead of just a signing, I have no idea what the Thunder will get out of it, probably a highly protected 2nd round pick and the trade exception.

  7. Thunder are getting a huge trade exemption they can use to trade for a good player around the all star break + maybe a 2nd rd pick. Ridnour had to go and brewer can play D a 6’9 wing that can guard multiple positions.

  8. If 4 yr 50 mill and he still hasn’t signed it. Means he is getting greedy he is asking for Al Jefferson type money and look at Al’s career numbers compared to Pek’s. Might have to let him walk we can’t afford Love, Pek, Rubio. love and Rubio deserve that money at this point…and Pek does not…I love him but he is a 10 mill annual type of player nothing more nothing less

  9. Well I do not think Pekovic is the best compliment to Love far from it. Actually the problem with Pekovic is who does he really fit with in today’s NBA? Perhaps Anthony Davis if he gets his outside shot to a reliable 15-18 ft shot. Some sort of rim protecting outside shooter power forward – sounds like something just too far fetched to believe.

    Pekovic’s lack of comparable player type is precisely why he has not received any real bids. He is a player without a market. He is worth too much for the 5 million range, but that is really what most teams are willing to play. I like the Flip’s plan to get more shooters and as such he signed Kevin Martin, drafted Shabazz, and hopes Chase Budinger stays healthy. Hopefully more shooters can mean the team benefits more from the presence of Pekovic?

    He needs to be a better post up player. Come on work on it Pekovic because then the T-wolves could potentially be great.

  10. 12m no and if this team is serious about building for the future you cannot pay that. Listen for a team like the spurs to do what they have done every year stars and starters have to accept not getting max or not getting what they’re worth. 12m is too high 8m starting with 10-11 in the last year of the deal is what makes sense. If you pay him 12m a year whats left for rubio ? Or Derrick Wiliams who I believe is being wasted as a backup. Derrick has a better upside on offense and defense than anyone on the team.

  11. Mark, we can offer Rubio the max no matter what, even if we are maxed out. We will have to pay the tax, but you and I won’t be paying the tax so who cares? They will not let Rubio go unless he forces his way out. I think this is fair deal. You cite the Spurs and they just signed Tiago Splitter to deal around $8-$10M/yr. Pek is twice the player Splitter is. I love this deal and I hope Pek signs it. With Pek playing 30min a night and our new athletic rookie backing him up for 18 and protecting the rim (I can’t remember his name, sorry) I think we have a great center combo. This team may not be a championship contender right now, but I love the direction. I love what Flip is doing. At least it all makes sense, something we couldn’t say about his Kahn’s moves very often.

  12. The people bashing the offer obviously have not seen what Pek has done to improve Love’s game and what he will bring to people on the wing who can actually shoot by pulling the defense away. The team won 30 games with only Pek and AK last year (and a gradual Rubio). Since we have shooters now Pek is a must sign and $12M per is not a bad range for what he brings.

  13. Pek is absolutely worth that contract. He has soft hands, excellent cutting to the basket, grabs a ton of offensive rebounds. Plus he hit 75% from the free throw line. I think he easily a top 10 center in the league.

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