Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Wednesday that president of basketball operations Flip Saunders will travel to New York early next week – as early as Monday – to talk with Nikola Pekovic’s agent Jeff Schwartz in hopes of finalizing a deal for the restricted free agent center.
The Wolves have offered Pekovic a four-year offer believed to be worth up to $50 million. Taylor said Schwartz had submitted a counteroffer.
“We made an offer and they made a counter offer,” Taylor said. “And they decided they should get together and talk about it in person rather than over the phone.’’
That said, Taylor indicated that he regarded the Wolves’ initial offer a good one. “Our offer wasn’t a negotiating offer,” he said. “Our offer was what we think was a really good offer.”
Saunders will go to New York alone. Taylor said he didn’t think Pekovic would attend the meeting, saying Schwartz had asked the Wolves to deal with him rather than his client.
Still, Taylor didn’t seem worried about potential problems getting the deal done, suggesting that adding incentives to the team’s offer might be an avenue to getting the deal done.
Getting Pekovic signed would appear to be the final large-scale move the Wolves need to get done during what has been a rather busy off-season.
The Wolves re-signed Chase Budinger, acquired free agent shooting guard Kevin Martin and have also landed Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf to provide depth.
Pekovic averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds during the 2012-13 season, his third in the league.