The Timberwolves have said repeatedly that they have every intention of retaining restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic. The saga has now dragged into mid-August without a pact between the two sides, but president of basketball operations Flip Saunders says that he has earmarked the start of training camp as the deadline for a deal, writes Tim Leighton of the Pioneer Press.
"I believe we are the best situation for him,'' Saunders said. "I do believe that Pek knows what we have brought in and that this is a positive place. I think we are moving in the right direction.''
The 6-foot-11, 290-pound big man earned $4.8MM last season and he can expect a sizable pay raise in his next deal. The question for Pekovic, who averaged 16.3 PPG and 8.8 RPG in 62 games, is how much of a bump he will get. The Wolves are dangling a four-year extension worth about $48MM plus incentives while the 27-year-old's agent is said to be seeking something with an average annual value of $15MM.