Minnesota Timberwolves: Flip Saunders Confident Nikola Pekovic Will Come Back

By Ryan Heckman


Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This summer has been one of major success for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Having signed plenty of talent to surround their core of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, they feel they are real close to contending.

So far, the Wolves have added former Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Martin who will figure to add plenty of offense to the rotation, former Denver Nuggets swingman Corey Brewer who will add a defensive tenacity to the perimeter and former Los Angeles Clippers big man Ronny Turiaf who will give them a high-intensity burst off the bench.

They also re-signed guard Chase Budinger who hardly played in 2012 due to injury, but showed he is a valuable shooter to the team when healthy.

For their last priority, general manager Flip Saunders is hoping that free agent center Nikola Pekovic accepts the contract offer from the Wolves and returns to Minnesota. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported the Wolves were closing in on a 4-year, $50 million deal last week.

Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune has reported now, that Saunders said he expects Pekovic to stay with the team:



If Pekovic indeed accepts the offer, the Wolves will absolutely contend for a playoff spot in the Western Conference in 2013. Saunders has done a phenomenal job of taking over responsibilities that David Kahn could not complete and has made this team better than it’s been in any of the years Kahn was with the organization.

Pekovic is one of those guys that is perfect within a certain system, and the Wolves are his perfect location. Not only has he performed well there, but the chemistry he’s built with the team only further emphasizes the importance of bringing him back. With the leadership of Rubio at the point, Pekovic has established himself as one of the more complete big men in the game.

He will only get better at this point, especially working with a guy like Rubio who has the talent to set him up in the most ideal ways. If he winds up in Minnesota in 2013, watch out for the Timberwolves.

I can’t believe I just said that.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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