Nikola Peković

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Nikola Peković
20140101 Nikola Peković guarded by Anthony Davis (1).JPG
Peković (right) with the Timberwolves in 2014
No. 14 – Minnesota Timberwolves
Position Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1986-01-03) January 3, 1986 (age 30)
Bijelo Polje, SR Montenegro, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Montenegrin
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 307 lb (139 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 31st overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Playing career 2003–present
Career history
2003–2005 Atlas (Serbia and Montenegro)
2005–2008 Partizan (Serbia)
2008–2010 Panathinaikos (Greece)
2010–present Minnesota Timberwolves
2011 Partizan (Serbia)
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 for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Standing at 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m), he plays at the center position.

Professional career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Peković began playing basketball with a junior team from Podgorica at the age of 15.[1] In 2003, he moved to Belgrade, Serbia and signed his first professional contract with Atlas during the summer.

Partizan Belgrade (2005–2008)[edit]

After two years there, Peković joined the national champions Partizan in July 2005.[2] With Black and Whites, he won three consecutive Basketball League of Serbia titles, two Adriatic League and Radivoj Korać 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.

Panathinaikos Athens (2008–2010)[edit]

In the summer of 2008, Peković joined the Greek champions Panathinaikos.[3] 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.[4] With PAO, he also won two Greek League titles and the 2009 Greek Cup.

Minnesota Timberwolves (2010–present)[edit]

Peković with the Timberwolves in 2011

Peković was selected with the 31st overall pick 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. Two years later, he signed a three-year, $13 million contract with the Timberwolves.[5] As a rookie in the NBA in 2010–11, Peković averaged 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Peković with the Timberwolves in 2011

On August 16, 2011, Peković signed a contract to play for Partizan until the end of the 2011 NBA lockout.[6] 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 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 to a five-year, $60 million deal.[7][8] 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.

During the 2014–15 season, Peković managed just 31 games due to a right ankle injury.[9] On April 8, 2015, Peković had surgery on his right Achilles tendon in hopes of addressing the pain in his bothersome right foot.[10]

On January 6, 2016, Peković made his season debut for the Timberwolves, playing for the first time since March 11, 2015. In 16 minutes of action off the bench, he scored 12 points in a loss to the Denver Nuggets.[11]

National team career[edit]

Serbia and Montenegro national team[edit]

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[edit]

Peković with Montenegro in 2010

Peković represented the Montenegrin national team at the EuroBasket 2011 held in Lithuania. Over 5 tournament games, he averaged 13.0 points and 6.4 rebounds, as Montenegro finished the tournament after first phase.

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  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
 Bold  Career high

Note: The Euroleague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season, he also played in domestic competition.

Denotes seasons in which Peković won the Euroleague

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2010–11 Minnesota 65 11 13.6 .517 .000 .763 3.0 .4 .3 .5 5.5
2011–12 Minnesota 47 35 26.9 .564 .000 .743 7.4 .7 .6 .7 13.9
2012–13 Minnesota 62 62 31.6 .520 .000 .744 8.8 .9 .7 .8 16.3
2013–14 Minnesota 54 54 30.8 .541 .000 .747 8.7 .9 .6 .4 17.5
2014–15 Minnesota 31 29 26.3 .424 .000 .837 7.5 .9 .6 .4 12.5
Career 259 191 25.4 .521 .000 .759 6.5 .7 .5 .6 12.9

Euroleague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2005–06 Partizan 14 2 18.0 .574 .000 .677 3.6 .3 .5 .4 7.1 5.9
2006–07 Partizan 20 3 13.5 .593 .000 .714 2.5 .2 .6 .3 4.8 3.3
2007–08 Partizan 23 14 26.5 .584 .000 .773 6.9 .8 .7 .6 16.4 19.6
2008–09 Panathinaikos 21 9 18.1 .634 .000 .775 3.8 .3 .3 .7 13.0 14.0
2009–10 Panathinaikos 13 10 21.6 .607 .000 .727 3.5 .5 .6 .4 14.8 14.9
2011–12 Partizan 7 7 27.2 .549 .000 .811 4.6 .7 .3 .3 15.4 16.7
Career 98 45 20.5 .594 .000 .757 4.3 .5 .5 .5 11.7 12.3

Administrative career[edit]

In September 2015, Peković accepted the offer by the Board of Directors of Partizan Belgrade to be the next team president, following the resignation of Predrag Danilović in late August.[12] Soon after taking the position, he named Petar Božić the new head coach, thus not offering Duško Vujošević a new contract.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Peković is an ethnic Serb[citation needed]. His free time is mostly spent in Serbia, especially in Zlatibor, and in Belgrade.[14] He currently builds an apartment house in Zlatibor.[14] He has several Serb-themed tattoos, including the Battle of Kosovo, which he explained as being "the most important battle in our history".[15] He also has a tattoo of the Serbian cross.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pokoriti Evropu" (in Serbian). Blic.rs. April 30, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Peković novo pojačanje Partizana" (in Serbian). B92.net. July 21, 2005. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Panathinaikos inks Pekovic, brings back Fotsis". Euroleague.net. June 24, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Tribute to the champs, Panathinaikos: Nikola Pekovic!". Euroleague.net. May 22, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sources: Pekovic's deal worth $13M". ESPN.com. June 30, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Partizan brings former All-Euroleaguer Pekovic home". Euroleague.net. August 16, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Timberwolves Reach Agreement in Principle with Restricted Free-Agent Center Nikola Pekovic". NBA.com. August 14, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  8. ^ Zgoda, Jerry (August 14, 2013). "It's done: Pek agrees to 5-year, $60M deal". StarTribune.com. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Roster Review - Nikola Pekovic". Minnesota Timberwolves. NBA. 
  10. ^ "Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic undergoes surgery on right Achilles tendon". ESPN. 
  11. ^ "Gallinari, Nuggets snap 6-game skid with win over Wolves". Game Story. NBA. 2016-01-06. 
  12. ^ "Peković od utorka na čelu Partizana". mondo.rs (in Serbian). 7 September 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Božić novi trener Partizana!". b92.net (in Serbian). 8 September 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  14. ^ a b "Nikola Peković: Priželjkujem da se skrasim, ali sam dosta komplikovan". Intervju. Hello! magazin. 
  15. ^ "Peković istetovirao Boj na Kosovu, Amerikanci se čude tetovaži sa motivom bitke koju je srpska vojska izgubila". Sport. Novosti. 
  16. ^ "SA TRI PRSTA: Nikola Peković nagovorio igrače Minesote da se slikaju kao Srbi". Kurir sport. Kurir. 

External links[edit]