Centre set to stay with his current side for another five years.
One of the most important pieces for the Minnesota Timberwolves for next NBA season has been retained, with news Nikola Pekovic has signed a new contract with the club.
The deal for the former restricted free-agent will be over five seasons and is worth $60 million with another $8 million in incentive-related bonuses.
Wolves president Flip Saunders said retaining the centre was one of the side’s biggest priorities as they look to try and make another run at the Western Conference title.
“Retaining Pek was our No. 1 priority this off-season, and we’re very excited that he’s chosen to continue his career in Minnesota,” Saunders said.
“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 frontcourts in the NBA for a long time to come.”
Helping the Timberwolves retain their starting centre was the restricted nature of is free-agent status, with no clubs seriously chasing his deal, such was their confidence ‘Pek’ was not leaving the club.
If a deal was not done in time and Pekovic became a unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2013-14 season, he could have commanded a high asking price.
The 27-year-old averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds for his 62 games last season, his third in the NBA.
With the addition of Kevin and a fit Ricky Rubio running the offence from the point, the Timberwolves could be a darkhorse in a talent-laden Western Conference.
Minnesota has also added depth and wing shooting to its roster this off-season, with Kevin Martin joining the club from Oklahoma City and Ronnie Brewer added to the side.