Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Flip Saunders says that he expects Love & Peković to be the "Bruise Brothers" frontcourt that'll be together for a very long time.
Saunders laid the groundwork for a long relationship for this budding frontcourt by re-signing the Mighty Montenegro Man for 5-years and $60million. That's an average of $12million annually.
Talks between Flip and Pek's reps (agent Jeff Schwartz) have been ongoing for quite some time now and we consistently heard about how a deal was basically, imminent. Still, as time dragged on, it had a lot of #WolvesNation nervous and anxious. The nerves are gone now and instead it's a matter of us all debating, was Peković worth that much money for that many years?!
Minnesota's initial offer was for 4-years, $48-50million, which equates to an average of $12-12.5million annually. Peković's agents countered with a 4-year, $55million offer which is an average of $13.75million a season. By adding that fifth year and keeping it at $12million a year, it appears to be a win-win for both sides.
Another 'sweetener' of the deal is roughly $8million in bonus incentives, one of which is likely to include games played.
Peković was signed to a five-year deal, however that doesn't mean the Wolves still can't sign Rubio for a five-year deal once his rookie-scale contract ends because Peković wasn't on a rookie-scale deal, since he was a second-round pick. That means, in a couple years when Rubio's rookie contract is up, he can still get a five-year deal and when Kevin Love becomes a free agent in either the Summer of 2015 (if he declines the $16.7M+ player option) or in the Summer of 2016, he could hypothetically be re-signed to a five-year extension, as well.
Peković decided not to play for his national team a couple weeks ago and despite finally getting a deal done with Minnesota, word is he still won't play in the European Championships next month in Slovenia.
As Peković is unquestionably my favorite player on the Wolves and in the NBA, I'm definitely ecstatic! I'm a little concerned about paying an injury-prone big man big money for the next five years (until he's 32), but I also know Pek is a player that doesn't rely on a lot of athleticism, his game is under the rim, bruising and bullying opponents down in the paint. I don't see any reason (barring the small nagging injuries he's had in the past) he shouldn't be able to play at a high-level throughout the life of this new contract.
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