NBA Rumors: Breaking Down Latest Buzz Surrounding Nikola Pekovic, 76ers and More
The draft is ancient history, free agency is winding down, and most teams are starting to take shape for the 2013-14 NBA season. But there are still several teams and players looking to make moves this summer.
Whether they're aiming to lock up a star on a long-term deal, bring in a quality veteran or hire the right coach, these teams aren't content to let the return of football steal the August spotlight.
Below we'll break down the last buzz fresh from the rumor mill.
Timberwolves and Nikola Pekovic Still Far Apart?
The Minnesota Timberwolves and big man Nikola Pekovic are still in disagreement over the figures of a new contract, according to 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson:
One central issue remains, according to sources: money. The Wolves are offering Pekovic a four-year, $48 million extension. Schwartz wants more. In fact, at least initially, a lot more. One league source said his opening asking price was in the vicinity of $15 million/year.
The 27-year-old center came on strong in his second season with the team in 2011-12, doubling his minutes per night and averaging 14 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Last season, Pekovic averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in 62 regular-season starts.
Pekovic has been injury prone to start his Timberwolves career, however, which obviously has Minnesota wary of offering him a massive deal. His improvement year after year is encouraging, but what amount will the Wolves be willing to risk?
According to Wolfson, not more than $12 million per year:
The possibility of a five-year agreement exists. But the main focus has been on four-years. The Wolves are willing to add some incentive sweeteners -- think games played with Pekovic's injury history. But the idea that they'll budge from the guaranteed portion -- $12 million/year -- is nearly ludicrous.
Keep in mind that Pekovic could still sign a $6 million qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent following the 2013-14 NBA season. But that would be a major gamble for the Montenegrin.
'Sixers Set to Interview Handful of NBA Assistants
The Philadelphia 76ers will continue their head-coaching search this week, according to Yahoo! Sports NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski:
Four assistant coaches – Atlanta's Kenny Atkinson, San Antonio's Brett Brown, Chicago's Adrian Griffin and Boston's Jay Larranaga – are scheduled to meet with, Sixers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, among other team officials, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
All four have solid experience as NBA assistants, but each would have his work cut out for him in Philadelphia next season.
After all, the 'Sixers have had three different head coaches since Maurice Cheeks was fired at the end of 2008 and would no doubt love to find some stability on the sideline.
Doug Collins went 110-120 in the past three seasons with the 'Sixers, but he led the club to just an 8-10 mark in the postseason, coming one win short of a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012.
World Champs Interested in Sebastian Telfair?
Veteran free-agent point guard Sebastian Telfair is drawing interest this summer, but not from just any team.
According to HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy on Twitter, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat have expressed interest in the 28-year-old backup floor general:
The Miami Heat continue to express interest in free agent point guard Sebastian Telfair, according to sources close to the situation.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) August 4, 2013
Telfair played 13 games for the Toronto Raptors last season after being traded from the Phoenix Suns.
He's started just 12 regular-season games since the start of the 2009-10 season but brings nine years of NBA experience to the table.
Prior to being shipped to Toronto midseason last year, Telfair was shooting a career-best 38 percent from three-point range in Phoenix. He is a 32-percent three-point shooter for his NBA career but would likely struggle to find solid playing time in Miami's loaded backcourt.
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