Dec 1, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic (14) talks to Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Kevin Martin (23) in a break in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Basketball: Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin will return for Wolves on Saturday


nikola pekovic

Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin are expected to return for the Wolves on Saturday night (Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin will be active vs. the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, and fantasy basketball owners should plan accordingly.

Pekovic, the Wolves’ starting center, has missed the last 13 games with ankle bursitis, while Martin has sat out the last seven contests with a non-displaced fracture of his left thumb.

Their returns will have a huge impact on the Wolves.  Since Pekovic’s injury the team has gone 6-7 and fallen five-and-a-half games out of the Western Conference playoff race.  Pekovic is averaging 18.0 points and 9.1 rebounds, while Martin is scoring 19.0 points with 1.8 threes and 1.0 steals per game.

It was expected that the two players were shooting for a Monday return vs. Denver, but the T’Wolves’ public relations feed on Twitter announced around noon that both Pekovic and Martin would suit up for Saturday’s game:

Fantasy owners will need to temper expectations for at least a couple games though, as both players are likely to be on minutes restrictions.  It’s possible Martin plays more than Pekovic because he was out less time and his injury wouldn’t have affected his conditioning.

While fantasy owners are understandably ecstatic about getting Pekovic and Martin back, their returns will have an impact on any players who were added in the interim.

Players like Chase Budinger and Dante Cunningham are droppable in all leagues.  J.J. Barea will maintain his backup point guard role and Corey Brewer should continue to start, but owners shouldn’t expect the 14.6 points he was averaging while Martin was out.  It’s reasonable to think Brewer could still put up 10-12 points per game, with his customary 1.5 steals per contest.



Tags: Fantasy Basketball Kevin Martin Minnesota Timberwolves Nikola Pekovic