Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Bass

Report: Timberwolves near four-year, $50 million deal with Nikola Pekovic


Nikola Pekovic is the kind of old-school big man who is a perfect fit next to Kevin Love in Minnesota.

Pekovic can score efficiently in the post (he scored 16.3 points a game on 52 percent shooting last year), is good on the pick and roll, grabs rebounds and on defense is a big body and a paint protector. Pekovic does the dirty work.

Which is why the Timberwolves are ready to pay to keep him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

That price is about the going rate for a quality NBA big man.

Minnesota and new GM Flip Saunders need to improve their relationship with Kevin Love and show him they can build a winner around him so he doesn’t opt out and bolt in the summer of 2015. So far they are doing that — Saunders has a much better relationship with Love than David Kahn did, and with additions such as Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer, the Timberwolves will be a playoff team next season if they stay healthy.

The retention of Pekovic fits right in line with all of that.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.