Peković (right) with the Timberwolves in 2014
|No. 14 – Minnesota Timberwolves|
January 3, 1986 |
Bijelo Polje, SFR Yugoslavia
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||295 lb (134 kg)|
|NBA draft||2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 31st overall|
|Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Nikola Peković (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Пековић; born January 3, 1986) is a Montenegrin professional basketball player who currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) tall and plays at the center position.
Peković began playing basketball with a junior team from Podgorica at the age of 15. In 2003, he moved to Belgrade, Serbia and signed his first professional contract with Atlas during the summer. After two years there, Peković joined the national champions Partizan in July 2005. With Black and Whites, he won three consecutive Serbian League titles, two Adriatic League and Serbian Cup titles. Peković was named the MVP of the Adriatic League Final Four in 2008. The same year, he also earned an All-Euroleague Second Team selection for leading Partizan to the competition's quarterfinals.
In the summer of 2008, Peković joined the Greek champions Panathinaikos. He signed a 3-year contract worth €4.5 million net income. He averaged 13.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in just over 18 minutes per contest, helping Panathinaikos win 2008–09 Euroleague title. Peković consequently established himself as one of Europe's elite centers, being voted to the All-Euroleague First Team. With PAO, he also won two Greek League titles and the 2009 Greek Cup.
Peković was selected 31st overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Many draft experts considered him a top 10 pick, but due to his contract situation with his team in Europe he was selected much lower. He was considered a lock to be drafted with the first pick of the second round because players selected in the second round are not subject to the rookie scale contracts of the first round. This meant that the team that drafted him would be able to pay him more than those players selected later in the first round. Due to the amount of money Peković was making in Europe already, he likely would not have made the jump to the NBA for the amount of money that could be paid to a late first round player. It was reported on June 30, 2010, that Peković had agreed with the Wolves to a 3-year, $13 million gross income deal. In his rookie season, Peković averaged 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
On August 16, 2011, Peković signed a contract to play for Partizan until the end of the 2011 NBA lockout. Upon returning to Minnesota, through January 2012, Peković stepped in for an injured Darko Miličić to start center for the Timberwolves. He finished the 2011–12 season with 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 26.9 minutes on the court per game. In voting for the Most Improved Player, Peković finished third behind Orlando's Ryan Anderson and Milwaukee's Ersan İlyasova. On August 14, 2013, Peković re-signed with the Timberwolves. He received a 5-year, $60 million deal. On January 27, 2014, he suffered an ankle injury that hindered him for the rest of the season. He averaged a career high 17.5 points and 8.7 rebounds over 54 regular season games.
Serbia and Montenegro national team
While playing with the youth national teams of Serbia and Montenegro, Peković received the bronze medal at the 2005 European U20 Championship in Russia. He also won the gold medal with his generation at the 2006 tournament held in Turkey.
Montenegro national team
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||PIR||Performance Index Rating|
Note: Euroleague is not the only competition in which player participated for the team during the season.
|†||Denotes seasons in which Peković won the Euroleague|
- "Pokoriti Evropu" (in Serbian). Blic.rs. April 30, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Peković novo pojačanje Partizana" (in Serbian). B92.net. July 21, 2005. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Panathinaikos inks Pekovic, brings back Fotsis". Euroleague.net. June 24, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Tribute to the champs, Panathinaikos: Nikola Pekovic!". Euroleague.net. May 22, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Sources: Pekovic's deal worth $13M". ESPN.com. July 1, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Partizan brings former All-Euroleaguer Pekovic home". Euroleague.net. August 16, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- "Timberwolves Reach Agreement in Principle with Restricted Free-Agent Center Nikola Pekovic". NBA.com. August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nikola Peković.|
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- Nikola Peković at Euroleague.net
- Nikola Peković at ABA-League.com