Nikola Pekovic‘s injury-riddled season appears to be over as Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders does not expect him to play the remainder of the season, Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The 29-year-old, fifth-year center has appeared in just 31 games this season and has not played since March 11th because of an ankle injury. He is averaging 12.5 points — his lowest since his rookie season — and 7.5 rebounds in 26.3 minutes. He has three years and $35.8MM remaining on his contract, the longest commitment that Minnesota has besides point guard Ricky Rubio.
In other news around the league:
- The luxury tax threshold is estimated to check in at around $81MM for next season, a source tells Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, confirming a figure Sean Deveney of The Sporting News cited earlier this season. The threshold should vault to around $101MM for 2016/17, Bondy added.
- The Grizzlies recalled forward Jarnell Stokes and guard Russ Smith from their D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy, the team announced on its website. Stokes has been assigned to Iowa six times this season while Smith has completed three stints with the Energy as well three prior stints with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Stokes has averaged 2.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 17 games with the Grizzlies. Smith has averaged 1.4 points and 0.4 assists in 5.0 minutes in 10 games in his rookie season with Memphis and the Pelicans.
- Funding for upgrades to the Target Center, the Timberwolves’ home area, could receive an additional boost from the city of Minneapolis, Erin Golden of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. A proposal to increase the city’s contribution to the upgrades cleared another Minneapolis City Council hurdle, Golden continues. The city, which has already agreed to spend $50MM on a project, could boost its support by another $24.5MM because of rising construction costs, Golden adds.