Pekovic (ankle) was waived by the Wolves on Tuesday.
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.
Pekovic was a consistent double-double threat for the Timberwolves from 2011-12 through 2014-15, but he was never able to truly recover after requiring surgery on his right Achilles in April 2015. He returned from the procedure last January, but played only 12 games before enduring a setback with the Achilles. With the injury still bothering him heading into training camp and not likely to improve over time, it appears the 30-year-old's playing career will come to a premature end, according to John Krawczynski of the Associated Press. While the Wolves' insurance policy will cover the remaining two years and $23.7 million on his contract, it's expected that he'll be waived in the near future to open up a roster spot for another player.
Pekovic was able to resume working out earlier this month, but it's clear the big man is still suffering from the effects of his April 2015 surgery to repair his right Achilles. He was limited to 12 games last season before suffering a setback with the Achilles and being shut down for good in February. Though Pekovic is owed $23.7 million over the next two years, the Timberwolves appear to have abandoned hope of him contributing again, as the team went out and signed Jordan Hill and Cole Aldrich this offseason to serve as the backups to Gorgui Dieng and Karl-Anthony Towns, respectively. With that in mind, don't be surprised if the Timberwolves waive Pekovic before the season begins in order to open up a roster spot.
Pekovic is back in Minneapolis working out with Wolves personnel in preparation for the upcoming season, but he's still bothered by the Achilles/foot issues that have limited him to only 43 games over the last two seasons. It's certainly not good news for Pekovic, who, even if healthy, will have trouble carving out more than a minor bench role this season given the presence of Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng. That said, with the regular season nearly two months away, Pekovic still has time to display significant progress.
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