It is no secret that the Minnesota Timberwolves have plenty of work ahead of them if they want to improve on their 31-51 record during the 2012-13 NBA season. Their top priority should be to re-sign center Nikola Pekovic, something the organization fully expects to accomplish in the offseason.
“Pek’s a restricted free agent, so we expect that he’s going to be back,” president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said, according to Fanshare.com. “We feel he’s a valuable part of where we’re going, and we’ll do what we have to do to try to bring him back. I think Kirilenko’s the same way. Until he exercises his option, we feel he’s a guy that’s going to come back.”
The three-year player is arguably Minnesota’s greatest center in franchise history. Not to mention, he is loaded with plenty of potential and is nowhere near his peak. There is no question he is among the top centers in the Western Conference and is well on his way to being one of the best in the league.
Pekovic led the Timberwolves with 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. He also shot 52.0 percent from the field and recorded a career-high 26 double doubles in 62 games.
After the conclusion of the regular season, there was plenty of doubt whether the Timberwolves would be able to re-sign Pekovic. The fact is the 27-year-old will be in high demand among teams that need a talented and stable young center. Considering the sky is the limit for Pekovic, especially with the right coaching, he could very well see a lot of money thrown at him in free agency.
With that being said, Minnesota plans on offering him a multi-year deal worth at least $5 million per season. The Timberwolves are hoping that will be enough, but they will certainly be open to negotiations.