Nikola Pekovic

The Wolves announced a five-year, $60 million contract Wednesday for Nikola Pekovic that essentially finishes off their roster shopping for the season. There probably is one spot left, and it will go to an end-of-the-bench type.

The starting five figures to be something like this: C-Nikola Pekovic; PF-Kevin Love; SF-Corey Brewer; SG-Kevin Martin; PG-Ricky Rubio.

The first four players off the bench on many nights figure to be: Chase Budinger (unless he starts over Brewer), J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham and possibly Ronny Turiaf, at least early in the season.

The four players whose playing time appears to be most nebulous are: Derrick Williams, Alexey Shved, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng.

So a team that won 15 games in the 2009-10 season, had lottery picks in 2010, 2011 and 2013 … is now poised to challenge for the playoffs, perhaps without a major contribution from any of those picks.

Reported by Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune