It's not that the Minnesota Timberwolves aren't willing to shell out to re-sign free agent center Nikola Pekovic. It's more about Pekovic coming at a hefty price. Pekovic's agent, Jeff Schwartz, is pushing new president of basketball operations Flip Saunders for a bigger deal than expected, according to 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
While the center certainly is expecting max money, Schwartz is apparently asking for a salary around $15 million per year. Minnesota is set on re-signing Pekovic to a four-year, $48 million offer, according to a source of 1500 ESPN. The Timberwolves are even willing to add some incentive-based additions to the contract, but it's hard to see them giving Pekovic much more considering Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio are seen as the future more than anyone.
But in that, there's another issue. Schwartz also represents Love, who can opt out of his contract before the 2015-16 season. That might be a ways off, but it's clearly something the T-Wolves must consider when signing Pekovic. Furthermore, the relationship between Schwartz and Saunders shouldn't be ruffled in the Pekovic talks if Minnesota wants friendly discussion regarding Love. While the two are reportedly on good terms, there's still a lot to be agreed upon.
Pekovic will likely attempt to sign a new deal before he joins the Montenegro national team at the 2013 Eurobasket event in early September.
Grizzlies still searching for point guard
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Grizzlies are in ongoing discussions with veteran point guards Mo Williams and Beno Udrih. It appears that Udrih is willing to hold out his free agency process to see if a team will offer him more than the veteran's minimum -- the New York Knicks are hoping to sign him as well.
Last season, it became clear that Jerryd Bayless was more effective as an undersized shooting guard. Tony Wroten is still a work in progress and with his sometimes reckless style, hasn't gotten a handle on controlling a team. The Dallas Mavericks traded the rights to point guard Nick Calathes to the Grizzlies, but it's not clear if or when he'll return to the States.
Josh Akognon, who was waived by the Mavericks and picked up by the Grizzlies, is the only other point guard on the roster at this point.
Udrih has quietly produced wherever he's played and Williams could be looking to take less money in order to join a contending playoff team.
Cuban sheds light on Dwight chase
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban penned a lengthy letter about the Mavericks' decisions from 2010 to present, and by the end of it didn't only discuss the team's pitch to Dwight Howard but posted a video the Mavs presented to Howard when they were courting him.
West says time away from hoops helped
Delonte West is ready to return to the NBA. After being dismissed by the Dallas Mavericks after clashes with coach Rick Carlisle and a failed D-League stint, the combo guard is hoping to shed his image as a troublemaker and poor locker room presence. He told the Boston Globe that his time away from basketball will hopefully help him return to it.
"This, in a way, has been the biggest blessing of my life," he said. "This has given me time to grow. I’m just looking for answers, and all of the things I have been searching for, as a man, not as an athlete, to complete me. In that time period I met my wife and have had a beautiful son, and it’s like everything is falling in place."
West has career averages of 9.7 points and 3.6 assists per game.