The Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to work toward re-signing center Nikola Pekovic this offseason, sources told the Pioneer Press' Charley Walters. In fact, Walters reports that there is "no chance of the Timberwolves not signing" the third-year center out of Serbia and Montenegro.
Pekovic will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so the Timberwolves will be able to match any offer thrown his way.
Pekovic is having a career season for Minnesota, averaging 15.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Pekovic is in fact the leading scorer for the T-Wolves outside of forward Kevin Love, who has been lost for the majority of this season with multiple broken bones in his hand.
At 6'11, 290 pounds, Pekovic has been one of the few constants for Rick Adelman's club, which has been decimated by injuries. Love, wing Chase Budinger, guard Ricky Rubio and guard Brandon Roy have all missed significant amounts of time, if not most of the 2012-13 season due to injuries. Meanwhile, Pekovic has started in every one of his 48 games played out of the T-Wolves' 57 outings thus far.
Pekovic is one of few decisions Minnesota must make this coming offseason.
For next season, the majority of the roster is locked into place contractually. Love, Rubio and Budinger are signed through next year. So too are second overall draft pick Derrick Williams and guards Alexey Shved, J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour. Andrei Kirilenko has a player option worth $10.2 million while forward Dante Cunningham has a team option.
The Timberwolves will be stretching themselves quite close to the salary tax if they extend Pekovic. After paying him $4.6 million this season and with a qualifying offer of just more than $6 million next year, the center could actually be valued at around $8 million.