The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have a “strong interest” in adding Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic via free agency.
Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports that the Cavaliers are high on the bruising seven-footer, but the player’s representation has yet to hear from the Cleveland collective. Minnesota recently extended a qualifying offer to Pekovic, however, and new team president Flip Saunders has called retaining the big man a “priority.” The Wolves have roughly $16 million in cap space, but could balk at a deal similar to the back-loaded (“poison pill”) contracts recently signed by Houston’s Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. Amico adds that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is believed to not be willing to match any substantial offers (Pekovic, 27, is a restricted free agent), presumably out of desire to maintain the ability to keep both forward Kevin Love and point guard Ricky Rubio long term.
The three-year veteran is coming off of a season where he averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 31.6 minutes per contest, but has missed 32 games over the past two seasons with various injuries. Weighing almost 300 pounds, Pekovic would immediately provide the Cavaliers with a big-bodied true center who would provide Mike Brown with a frontcourt rotation that would feature Pekovic, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and Tyler Zeller.