Nikola Pekovic signs 5-year, $60 million contract with Timberwolves

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves locked up their restricted free agent center with a whopping five-year deal that could be worth a reported $68 million after incentives.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to contract terms with the best remaining free agent, locking up Nikola Pekovic with a five-year deal worth at least $60 million, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Timberwolves president Flip Saunders confirmed the report, tweeting "we have agreed to terms with Pek."

Pekovic could also earn an extra $8 million if he reaches certain incentives over the course of the deal, according to Stein.

The Wolves were in ongoing negotiations for most of the summer with their restricted free agent. Previous reports indicated that Saunders had offered a four-year deal worth roughly $48 million, but Pekovic's agent was pushing for $60 million over the same time frame. It seems the two sides met in the middle, as Pekovic will be able to earn $20 million more than the Wolves reportedly originally offered, but he'll now be tied to the Wolves for an extra season.

Five years was the maximum length that the Wolves could sign Pekovic for using his Bird rights and is quite the commitment to a player who will turn 28 this season, especially considering the Wolves would probably like to keep Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love around for the long haul, as well. On the other hand, had the Wolves not been able to get a deal done this offseason, Pekovic would've been free to walk as an unrestricted free agent next year.

Pekovic averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 62 starts for the Wolves last season, just barely missing out on his first All-Star appearance.

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