NBA free agency: Flip Saunders 'confident' Nikola Pekovic reaches deal with Minnesota

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Pekovic continues to be unsigned, but those around the Minnesota Timberwolves don't seem too worried about him going elsewhere -- for good reason.

We're at the point in the free agency process where Nikola Pekovic is probably the best player who hasn't signed a contract yet. His leverage wanes as the days pass and, as such, Flip Saunders is pretty confident his team will reach a deal with the big man.

"We're moving in a positive direction," he said. "I still believe he wants to be here. I believe we are the best situation for him. He has had some success here. Success is not guaranteed in this league. ... I'm confident we'll have a meeting of the minds."

Saunders even set a time frame:

Owner Glen Taylor had previously said pretty much the same thing.

It's not so much whether or not Pekovic wants to be in Minnesota as whether he has another choice. The last we heard from Pekovic's camp, his agent was pushing for a $15 million deal over four years. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are believed to be offering about $50 million. It's not that Pekovic isn't worth the money after averaging 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last year, it's that his bargaining power isn't what it could be this summer.

As a restricted free agent, the Timberwolves have the opportunity to match any deal he signs with another team -- though there hasn't really been any talk of him negotiating with other teams. The Timberwolves would like to reach a deal this year  to avoid Pekovic becoming an unrestricted free agent next season, but Pekovic is pretty much guaranteed to be in Minnesota until then.

So Saunders can be confident in negotiating without much fear of being wrong.

More from SB Nation:

50-year-old Michael Jordan dunks on little kid

Sixers (finally) hire a head coach

Al Harrington "leaning towards" signing with Wizards

NBA All-Star Weekend 2015 in Brooklyn and Manhattan?

The rise and fall of B-Easy

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.