Timberwolves fans collectively rejoiced this afternoon when the organization announced they reached a five-year, $60 million deal with budding center Nikola Pekovic. While the Wolves have been down in terms of team success over the past nine years, Pekovic is widely considered one of the better centers in the NBA and clearly represents a crucial piece to the team building long-term success.
This news is welcome for all Wolves fans, as the free-agent Pekovic and the team took six weeks to hammer out an agreement. Many were worried Pekovic would flee the team in free agency to a more appealing basketball market. Pekovic was a restricted free agent, giving the Wolves a chance to match offers from other teams, but six weeks to work out a deal left many worrisome.
Pekovich was the Wolves biggest concern this offseason, and newly hired President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders commented on exactly that: “He’s one of our big, key pieces,” Saunders said of the 6-foot-11 Pekovic. “We came in in the offseason and we labeled him our No. 1 priority.”
This news is great for the Wolves who are trying to build their team through their front court, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love make for a formidable duo — couple that with rising star Ricky Rubio and newly signed free agent Kevin Martin, and Wolves fans are beginning to sniff the NBA Playoffs again. It has been far too long since professional basketball has been relevant in Minnesota — the 2013-14 campaign may be the resurgence Wolves fans have been looking for.
Image via: Star Tribune