Minnesota Timberwolves’ center Nikola Pekovic will not be playing in the upcoming 2016-2017 season, per comments made by owner Glen Taylor on WCCO Radio 830 in Minnesota on Friday. Pekovic has dealt with ankle problems his entire career, in addition to an Achilles injury that will prohibit from returning this season.
It was August 2013 when Pekovic signed a five-year, $60 million contract extension to remain with the Timberwolves. He would start every game he played in from 2012 through 2014 and had a career-high average of 17.5 points per game in 2013-2014. However, fast-forwarding to April 2015, Pekovic needed surgery on his right Achilles to address the foot issues he was having, which limited him to just 12 games since, averaging 4.5 points per contest.
Once thought to be a member of the frontcourt tandem alongside Kevin Love in Minnesota, Pekovic has struggled to even stay on the court as the Timberwolves have transitioned into the Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns era. He was originally selected in the second-round of the 2008 NBA Draft by Minnesota and was kept overseas while he played for Panathinaikos from 2008 to 2010 before joining the Timberwolves in 2010
At 30 years old, it is unclear as to whether or not Pekovic will ever be able to return to the court after being shut down prematurely for a third consecutive season. His role with Minnesota would be severely diminished as Towns has blossomed into one of the game’s young superstars, leaving the former dominant center on the sidelines.