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Nikola Pekovic - C, 6'11, 307
Retired - Retired after 2017 season
       Date of birth: 01/03/1986
       Country: Montenegro
     Drafted (NBA): 31st pick, 2008
     Out of: Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)
  NBA Experience: 7 years
  Hand: Right

From blog:


   The amount of cap room teams will actually have, updated, again
2010-07-08

Minnesota's draft day moves didn't do much for whatever cap space aspirations they had (which weren't many). Since that time, they have also agreed to sign Nikola Pekovic for 3 years and $13 million (a good deal) as well as re-signing Darko Milicic for 4 years and $20 million (not such a good deal).

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   NBA Free Agency Movement, Part 1
2010-07-02

- The first signing of the season didn't involve a free agent, but a draft pick. Minnesota signed their 2008 second round draft pick Nikola Pekovic to a deal worth 3 years and $13 million, according to Chad Ford. This is a decent price for Pekovic, who may well start straight away if and when Al Jefferson is traded. Pekovic is one hell of a post scorer, able to get position on anyone and with terrific touch around the basket. Per 36 minutes in the Euroleague, Pekovic averaged 24 points; per 36 in the Greek league, that went up to 28.3. Pekovic shot a ridiculous 73% from the field in the A1 league, alongside 75% from the line, and while those numbers dip to 59% and 71% in the higher standard Euroleague, they were still pretty beastly.

Pekovic's rebounding is a valid concern (grabbing a defensive rebound once every 11 minutes in Euroleague play isn't nearly good enough); to be sure, he's a sub-par and disinterested defensive rebounder. Equally valid concerns are his average size and below-average speed for the centre spot at the NBA level - he won't have the huge size advantages he often enjoyed against minnow opposition in Europe, and he's a bit grounded regardless. But the offense, and that efficiency, is genuinely impressive. And that's an interesting quality to have in any centre.

If it sounds like I just described Eddy Curry, be comforted that the two aren't comparable beyond that. Pekovic isn't nearly the athlete Eddy is (was), but nor is he as bad of a defender. Or passer. Or economist.

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   Sham's 2010 NBA Draft Night Recap, Part 1
2010-06-27

More teams should play the long game with international players, but they don't. While first rounders contracts are bound by the terms of the rookie salary scale, the rules states that if a player does not sign in the NBA for over three years after being drafted in the first round, then they are no longer bound by the scale. Everyone knows this rule, but no one does anything about it, which is why we see players like Tiago Splitter and Nikola Pekovic fall so far every year. But the Spurs, who picked Splitter, have the self-confidence to work with the rule in mind. Most executives are on short term contracts, which is why they make short sighted moves; they're trying to keep their jobs. But R.C. Buford of the Spurs surely knows of his job security, and drafts accordingly. And it's for that reason, plus a healthy dollop of common sense, that the Spurs are able to draft so well. It's a simple formula that so few others follow.

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   Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 50
2010-04-13

- Nikola Pekovic

Timberwolves draft pick Pekovic is still with Panathinaikos, and he is still a beast. He averages 14.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in the Euroleague, alongside 12.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in the Greek league. Those look more like numbers from a 6'7 small forward than a 6'11 270 pound centre, and for sure Pekovic is a bad (and lazy) defensive rebounder. But the scoring numbers need only some per-minute context to make sense. Per 36 minutes in the Euroleague, Pekovic is averaging 24 points; per 36 in the Greek league, that goes up to 28.3. Pekovic is shooting a ridiculous 73% from the field in the A1 league, alongside 75% from the line, and while those numbers dip to 59% and 71% in the higher standard Euroleague, they are still pretty beastly. Pekovic's rebounding is a valid concern (grabbing a defensive rebound once every 11 minutes in Euroleague play isn't nearly good enough), as are his average size and below average speed for the centre spot at the NBA level, but the offense is beastly. And that's an interesting quality to have in any centre.

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   December 15: When the NBA trade game can really begin
2013-12-13

[...] With one exception: the date becomes Jan. 15 if the player is a Larry Bird or Early Bird free agent who re-signed with his over-the-cap team and received a raise greater than 20% in the first season of his new deal in the process. This applies only to Brandan Wright, Timofey Mozgov, Tony Allen, Nikola Pekovic, Chase Budinger, J.R. Smith and Tiago Splitter.

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