Nikola Pekovic
Nikola Pekovic
33-Year-Old CenterC
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Nikola Pekovic in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Waived by the Timberwolves in June 2017
Waived by Wolves
CFree Agent
Ankle
June 20, 2017
Pekovic (ankle) was waived by the Wolves on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
Pekovic, who was ruled out for the entirety of the 2016-17 season due to right ankle pain, has battled injuries throughout his career. He's never played more than 65 games in a single campaign and (discounting this past year) averaged 45.2 games played per season. It seems very likely that his NBA career is over, as it's doubtful that someone would take a chance on him unless it was for minimum salary. Pekovic's career numbers stand at 12.6 points (on 51.8 percent shooting) and 6.7 boards across 24.9 minutes per game. From Minnesota's perspective, the move opens up a roster spot and could allow them to pursue additional talent in the free agent market if they decide to be buyers.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Recurring injuries have forced the once-productive Pekovic to miss 121 games over the past two seasons, putting both he and the Timberwolves in a precarious situation entering 2016-17. As training camp approached, Pekovic was still not fully healthy while continues to deal with complications stemming from an April 2015 procedure on his right Achilles. He’s still owed more than $23 million over the next two years, and while the Timberwolves would likely prefer to move him, it’s difficult to imagine there’s much of a market for a 30-year-old big man with a lengthy injury history. Even if Pekovic were healthy, he’d have trouble cracking the frontcourt rotation as a slow-footed defender who doesn’t space the floor. The Timberwolves will continue to monitor Pekovic’s progress, but the big man can be safely ignored in fantasy leagues.
Pekovic was limited by injury again last season, playing in only 31 games. When he did play, it's difficult to suggest that Pekovic enjoyed success on the court. The 29-year-old posted averages of 12.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 26 minutes per game. His efficiency plummetted by shooting a pedestrian 42 percent from the field. As a center that doesn't block shots, it's imperative that Pekovic is scoring points at a nice clip. He didn't do that when given the opportunity last season. Throw in the fact that Minnesota used the number-one-overall selection on Karl-Anthony Towns in the 2015 NBA Draft, and it appears that Pekovic's opportunity is going to be cut into a great deal. Pekovic will reportedly come off the bench in favor of the rookie (Towns) in 2015-16, which could turn the veteran into a scorer off-the-bench in the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, the Timberwolves will fully embrace the youth movement while slowly phasing out Pekovic. It's certainly plausible that Pekovic is a solid contributor in deeper leagues, but those in standard formats can probably find better value to start the season.
Nikola Pekovic is entering his fifth season with the Timberwolves which makes him the longest tenured player on the team. The 6-11 center from Montenegro is coming off his best season, and the only thing that is hampering his status as an upper-tier center is his health. Pekovic missed 28 games, including the end of last season, with an ankle injury. While he was on the court, he provided a career-high 17.4 points (on 54 percent from the field) with 8.7 rebounds in 31 minutes per game last season. The 28-year-old also hit 75 percent of his free throws, and added 0.9 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.4 blocks. On defense, Pekovic is more of a space eater than a rim protector, which wouldn't be a problem if the Timberwolves had someone else to block shots. With his former partner in the paint, Kevin Love, now out of town, Pekovic may find even more low-post opportunities. The offense will no longer be so focused on Love, but Pekovic will still have to share the ball with players like Thaddeus Young and Andrew Wiggins. The key to the big man's success in 2014-15 will be his ability to stay healthy. He has missed at least 17 games in each season due to a variety of issues. Based on his ability to score, rebound, and shoot efficiently, Pekovic could be a top center if he can stay on the court for a handful of more games this season.
The Montenegrin Mountain built on his surprising breakout from the previous season to establish himself as a legitimate fantasy option in 2012-13. Cemented as the Timberwolves starting center, Pekovic averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting an efficient 52 percent from the floor and 74 percent from the charity stripe in 32 minutes per game. The hulking (6-11, 290) center doesn't possess the athleticism to match most of his counterparts, but he uses his brute strength and surprisingly deft touch around the rim to finish at a high clip. His production on defense remained lackluster in his first full season as a starter, but Pekovic could start creeping towards or above that 1.0 average on steals or blocks as his understanding of NBA defense shows minimal improvement. Minnesota has an intriguing mix of skilled players on the offensive end of the court, but many of those options are perimeter-oriented which should lead to Pekovic being the focal point for most of their low-post attacks. With Kevin Martin joining the mix and Kevin Love returning from injury, there may be fewer shots for Pekovic, but he'll still see enough touches to be a valuable option to plug into the center position of your fantasy squad.
Pekovic was one of the biggest surprises in fantasy basketball last year, as he came out of relative obscurity to be a double-double machine for the Timberwolves. After being promoted to Minnesota's starting lineup, Pekovic averaged 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds while providing efficient percentages from the floor (54.7) and free-throw line (74.2). At 6-11, 290, Pekovic has the frame of a dominant big man, but he actually plays below the rim and relies on a surprising amount of finesse on the offensive end. His lack of athleticism means marginal production on defense (0.8 bpg, 0.6 spg) and he�s not going to help much in the assists (0.7) category. He did miss about a dozen games due to a lingering ankle injury last year, but Pekovic underwent surgery early this offseason and is expected to be at full strength entering the 2012-13 campaign. With Kevin Love getting most of the headlines in Minnesota, Pekovic could benefit from obscurity and be had at a decent price on draft day. Don�t forget about the big center from Yugoslavia when targeting double-double production from the center position.
In his first season in the NBA after playing in Europe, Pekovic struggled to adjust to the foul calls in the NBA and was frequently in foul trouble. He was limited to a reserve role and averaged 5.5 points per game in 13.6 minutes per game. At 6-11, 243 he's a big body but has some finesse with his shot. Once he gets more comfortable with the NBA game, he still has the talent on the offensive end to emerge with a larger role.
Pekovic played for Panathanaikos in Greece last season and was a top scorer. At 6-11, 243 he's a big body but has some finesse with his shot. He's a sleeper for deeper leagues as a result.
More Fantasy News
Officially ruled out for season
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Ankle
September 26, 2016
Pekovic (ankle) was officially ruled out for the season Monday.
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Basketball career likely over
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Achilles
September 24, 2016
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Friday that Pekovic (Achilles) won't play this season and will likely have the remainder of his contract bought out, WCCO News Radio 830 reports.
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Won't be ready for training camp
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Achilles
September 21, 2016
Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau said Tuesday that Pekovic (Achilles) won't be ready for the start of training camp, Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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'Still not ready physically' for basketball
CMinnesota Timberwolves
Achilles
September 7, 2016
Pekovic (Achilles) has resumed working out but is "still not ready physically" to return to the court, Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities reports.
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CMinnesota Timberwolves
Achilles
February 23, 2016
Pekovic has been ruled out indefinitely as he continues to recover from surgery on his right Achilles. "Our main concern is for the health of Nikola," Wolves GM Milt Newton said in a press release issued Tuesday. "Our priority is getting him back on the court, playing at a consistent level for a sustained period of time."
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