Pekovic On The Move To Timberwolves

02 July 2010

Montenegro center Nikola Pekovic is leaving Panathinaikos for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The seven-footer has agreed to a three-year, $13million deal with the Wolves, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.

Montenegro's Basketball Federation have confirmed that Pekovic will play for Minnesota next season.

Pekovic was a second round draft pick of Minnesota in 2008 but left Partizan Belgrade and played for Panathinaikos for two seasons.

He dominated in Athens, helping the Greens win a Greek Cup, Greek League and Euroleague treble in his first year with the club.

Pekovic and Pana won the Greek title this year as well.

Minnesota's president of basketball operations David Kahn has yet to confirm the deal.

Contracts can't be signed or announced until next Thursday, when the league's salary cap is announced.

Pekovic is supposed to play for Montenegro this summer when they compete in EuroBasket Division A for the first time.

In a 'group of death' qualifying campaign for EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania, the Montenegrins will go up against Italy, Latvia, Israel and Finland.

Serbia center Darko Milicic, meanwhile, has also impressed in his time at Minnesota and is set to sign a four-year deal worth $20million - $16million which is guaranteed.

Milicic is in his country's preliminary squad for the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

Minnesota are quickly becoming a team with ties to some of Europe's top young talent.

They also have Nemanja Bjelica of Serbia.

"I don't know if I will play this year," Bjelica said after the Wolves acquired his rights from Washington in a draft day trade, "but I hope to play in the NBA soon because it is my dream.

"All of my life, I have dreamed to be here and I hope that I will play."

Last year, Minnesota chose Spain point guard Ricky Rubio with the fifth overall pick in the draft.

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