The 2013 NBA season could wind up looking quite a bit different for the Minnesota Timberwolves. This summer they have the possibility of losing two important pieces from last year. Center Nikola Pekovic is set to become a free agent in July and forward Andrei Kirilenko has a $10 million option to decide on.
Will Kirilenko pick up the option? At this point, I am not sure. The Star Tribune spoke with Kirilenko about the matter and it appears he will wait it out a little longer before making his final decision:
“I spoke with Andrei Kirilenko from the south of France just a few minutes ago and he said he probably won’t decide whether to pick up his $10 million-plus option for next year until after next week’s draft.
Kirilenko has until June 29 to make up his mind, a curious date because it’s two days after the June 27 draft.
‘I think it will come right after the draft,’ he said of his decision when reached today just after dinnertime in France.”
If Kirilenko plans on waiting until after the draft, he will only have two days after the fact to make up his mind. His decision needs to come before June 29th.
While he helped the Wolves in all aspects last season, it would be curious to see what Minnesota could do with that $10 million off the books. If they lost him, I would be shocked if Flip Saunders let Pekovic go as well. One of the two is likely to come back, if not both.
For Minnesota to make a playoff run next season, it will be important to keep the core intact. That means both Pekovic and Kirilenko should return if all goes according to plan. A fully healthy roster next year will do wonders for the Wolves’ playoff hopes.