Nikola Pekovic

Timberwolves fans might have fretted and feared the worst those six weeks when their team haggled with restricted free-agent center Nikola Pekovic over a new contract.

To hear him tell it, even Pekovic’s agents might have done a little of the same.

But the big man who on Friday celebrated five years’ job security and a $60 million guaranteed payday by wearing nearly all black never sweated the small stuff when negotiations stalled — until the Wolves offered a fifth year so Pekovic’s side would accept the team’s $12 million salary ceiling.

“I always knew it was going to get done,” he said at a Friday news conference that officially presented him and the new deal. “I was not nervous. I think my agents were more nervous, that’s for sure. They were calling me, like, ‘Calm down, calm down.’ I said don’t worry, I’m fine.”

He felt fine all those weeks because — as he suggested all last season — he knew he wanted to return to the team that drafted him with the first pick in the 2008 draft’s second round.

He knew that for certain because, well, he likes it here.

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune