Wolves power forward Kevin Love was named a finalist on Wednesday for Team USA’s world championship roster. The final lineup will be reduced from 15 to 12 before the world championships begin on Aug. 28 in Turkey.
Love is one of only a handful of true forwards (joining the likes of Lamar Odom and Danny Granger on the squad). He and Odom are probably the only “true” power forwards. The three players who were cut from the roster on Wednesday were reigning rookie of the year Tyreke Evans, O.J. Mayo and Gerald Wallace.
Here’s a look at the finalists:

 Chauncey Billups G 6-3 202   9/25/76 Denver Nuggets / University of Colorado
 Tyson Chandler C 7-1 235 10/02/82 Dallas Mavericks / Dominguez H.S. (CA)
 Stephen Curry G 6-3 185   3/14/88 Golden State Warriors / Davidson College
 Kevin Durant G  6-9 230   9/29/88 Oklahoma City Thunder / University of Texas
 Rudy Gay F 6-8 230   8/17/86 Memphis Grizzlies / University of Connecticut
 Eric Gordon G 6-3 222 12/25/88 Los Angeles Clippers / Indiana University
 Danny Granger F 6-8 228   4/20/83 Indiana Pacers / University of New Mexico
 Jeff Green F 6-9 235   8/28/86 Oklahoma City Thunder / Georgetown University 
 Andre Iguodala G/F 6-6 207   1/28/84 Philadelphia 76ers / University of Arizona
 Brook Lopez C 7-0 265   4/01/88 New Jersey Nets / Stanford University
 Kevin Love F 6-10 260   9/07/88 Minnesota Timberwolves / UCLA
 Lamar Odom F 6-10 230 11/06/79 Los Angeles Lakers / University of Rhode Island
 Rajon Rondo  G 6-1 171   2/22/86 Boston Celtics / University of Kentucky
 Derrick Rose G 6-3 190 10/04/88 Chicago Bulls / University of Memphis
 Russell Westbrook G 6-3 187 11/12/88 Oklahoma City Thunder / UCLA
The Wolves also announced the signing of 2008 second-round pick Nikola Pekovic. Here's the team's press release on the signing: 
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed center Nikola Pekovic. Per team policy, terms of the contract offer were not disclosed.

"We are excited to have Nikola join the Minnesota Timberwolves," said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. "Nikola has been regarded as the best center in Europe for the past few seasons and will be a tremendous addition to our club. He is a tough, hard-nosed player who brings an added dimension of physicality to our team. We look forward to him bringing his talents to the United States and the NBA."

Pekovic, 24, has played for Panathinaikos Athens for the past two seasons. This past year, the 6-11 center from Serbia averaged 14.8 points on 60.7% shooting from the field, 3.5 rebounds and 16.8 minutes in 13 games in the Euroleague. In 26 games for Panathinaikos in the Greek League in 2009-10, Pekovic averaged 12.9 points on 72.5% shooting, 3.8 rebounds and 21.9 minutes. He helped lead Panathinaikos to the Euroleague championship in 2009, the Greek League championship in 2009 and 2010 and the Greek Basketball Cup in 2009. Pekovic was named to the All-Euroleague First Team in 2009.

The 31st overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by Minnesota, Pekovic has played professionally overseas for five seasons. Prior to playing for Panathinaikos, he was with Partizan Belgrade from 2005-08. Pekovic helped lead Partizan to three Serbian League championships (2006, 2007, 2008), two Adriatic League championships (2007, 2008) and the Serbian Cup in 2008. He was the Adriatic League Final Four MVP in 2008.
Mark Wollemann


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