I’m not sure where Nikola Pekovic got the idea that he’s the second coming, but he feels he’s worth more than the $12 million dollars per year the Minnesota Timberwolves are offering him.
A restricted free agent, Pekovic has been sitting on a four year, $48 million dollar contract from the Wolves for weeks now but continues to hold out for more money, either from Minnesota or another team presenting an offer sheet.
Timberwolves president Flip Saunders yesterday suggested that the two sides have a training camp deadline and hinted that talks are positive and ongoing, though, there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight:
“I do believe that Pek knows what we have in place, the people we’ve brought in, that this is a positive place,” Saunders said. “I’m confident we’ll have a meeting of the minds.”
He termed the talks with Pekovic’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, as cordial. Saunders has met with Schwartz in person to try to get a deal finished, but with no other offers on the table and training camp still more than a month and a half away, there hasn’t been real sense of urgency to get a deal done.
“Jeff and I have had very good conversations,” said Saunders, who has been adamant since taking over for the fired David Kahn that the Wolves would do whatever it takes to keep Pekovic. “Nothing’s been adversarial. There’s things that we’ve agreed upon. There’s things we’ve agreed to disagree upon. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
With few teams having the available cash to even offer Pekovic a larger deal than Minnesota and given his restricted free agent status, he really has no leverage room to bargain.
It’s hard to think he’d turn down $12 million dollars a year, so the Wolves may opt to wait him out.