Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has reached an agreement in principle on a contract with restricted free-agent center Nikola Pekovic. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Retaining Pek was our No. 1 priority this offseason and we’re very excited that he’s chosen to continue his career in Minnesota,” said Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders. “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.”
Pekovic, 27, continued his development into one of the top centers in the NBA last season by setting single-season career highs in scoring (16.3 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg) and minutes (31.6 mpg). In 62 games, all starts, the 6-11 center finished 20th in the NBA in field goal accuracy at 52.0%, while shooting 74.4% from the free throw line. Pekovic collected a team-high 26 points/rebound double-doubles last season, including 11 games with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds. He became the first Wolves player in over four years to be named Western Conference Player of the Week when he averaged 25.0 points, on 58.9% shooting, and 8.5 rebounds in four contests from April 1-7.
In 174 NBA games, 108 starts, Pekovic owns career averages of 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 23.6 minutes per contest. The Wolves originally selected the Montenegro native with the 31st overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.