MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Friday they’ve officially signed center Nikolai Pekovic to a new long-term  deal.

Pekovic signed a five-year contract. Team policy states terms of the contract are not disclosed, but it’s believed to be worth $60 million plus incentives. He has developed into one of the NBA’s top center as he averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season for the Timberwolves.

Pekovic, 27, was a restricted free agent after the regular season, meaning the Timberwolves could match any offer another team presented him.

“Pek is a dominating offensive player who plays extremely hard and is one of our key pieces,” said Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders. “With Pek, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio, we’ve got three cornerstones of the franchise that all complement each other. Pek, Kevin and Ricky all have the ability to be in the top 5 in the league at their respective positions.”

The Timberwolves originally drafted Pekovic with the 31st pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He met with the media Friday at Target Center to talk about being back with the Timberwolves.

“I’m happy to be returning to Minnesota and the Timberwolves,” Pekovic said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here and am looking forward to our team improving and getting into the playoffs.”


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