Nikola Pekovic, the seventh-year center, has been made available via trade by the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to several league sources.
Pekovic played just 12 games during the 2015-16 season after suffering an Achillies injury during April 2015.
With the emergence of Karl Anthony-Towns and Gorgui Dieng, besides the offseason acquisition of Jordan Hill and Cole Aldrich, Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau would find it difficult to find playing time for Pekovic.
Even though the Montenegrin big man has very little trade value, it’s difficult to ignore his polished post moves and talent level.
During the 2013-14 season, he averaged a career-high 17.5 points and 8.7 rebounds before injuries derailed him over the last few seasons.
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Nikola Pekovic out of training camp
Thibodeau, who also serves as president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, has confirmed that Pekovic won’t be taking part in training camp which begins next week.
“He’s been here for a good chunk of the summer, trying to rehab. He hasn’t been able to do much on the court.
“So he’s still having some issues there. At this point I would say it’s unlikely he will practice,” Thibodeau told the Star Tribune.
According to ESPN, Pekovic, who is owed $23.7 million for another two seasons, could receive a buyout request from Minnesota.
“We wanted to get him here, try to give him an opportunity to get in shape and get treatment. We were hopeful he would respond well.
“There have been some good days, but there have been a lot of setbacks as well. It’s something we’ll monitor going forward,” added the Timberwolves coach.
If the Timberwolves and Pekovic can reach a buyout, it could spell retirement for the European center. It’s very unlikely that any other team takes a chance on him unless he’s able to return for the 2016-17 season.
Nikola Pekovic has appeared in only 43 games over the last few seasons due to various injuries.