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Continued: Wolves' Pekovic, with new $60 million contract, happy to be staying

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 17, 2013 - 1:37 AM

“But they were here only in the summer,” Pekovic said. “I hope they’ll come to see me play in the next few years. They’ve got five years to come here.”

Pekovic, 27, has five years to live up to the terms of this rich, new contract and prove he can stay healthy for an entire season. Because of nagging injuries, he has never missed fewer than 17 games in each of his first three NBA seasons.

Games played almost certainly is one of many contract incentive clauses included that could boost the deal’s ultimate value to as much as $68 million if the Wolves win big and Pekovic plays like an All-Star.

He didn’t cry when the agreement was reached — at least that anybody knows of — but on Friday he still seemed somewhat speechless after a dizzying two days that included a hastily arranged trans-Atlantic flight.

“My friends and agents and everybody else ask, ‘What do you think?’ and I’m still not thinking nothing,” he said. “I need five, six days to think about everything. It came so quick. When everybody is talking about it, it’s different. But when they call and say they closed the deal, everything done, you have to go tomorrow, I’m still like in preparation.

“I probably need a few more days to settle down and think. It’s big money.”

  • related content

  • Video: Pekovic deal officially announced

    Saturday August 17, 2013

    Nikola Pekovic returned to Minnesota Thursday $60 million richer and his new big contract officially was announced at a...

  • A few thoughts from Nikola Pekovic's news conference

    Friday August 16, 2013

    The Wolves center on his new contract: "I always knew it was going to get done. I think my agents were more nervous than me."

  • With a new contract completed, Flip Saunders, left, and center Nikola Pekovic were all smiles about their Minnesota future.

  • THE NUMBERS

    Center Nikola Pekovic landed a large contract with the Timberwolves. The details:

    • Years: Five.

    • Guaranteed: $60 million.

    • Incentives: another $8 million.

    • Rank on team: Second to Kevin Love, who signed for four years and $61 million in 2012.

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