NBA roundup: Wolves’ Pekovic has ankle surgeryMinnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle on Tuesday. Pekovic’s sore ankle kept him out of eight games towards the end of the season. Dr. Martin O’Malley performed the surgery and Pekovic is expected to make a full recovery and be ready in time for training camp.
NEW YORK (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle on Tuesday.
Pekovic’s sore ankle kept him out of eight games towards the end of the season. Dr. Martin O’Malley performed the surgery and Pekovic is expected to make a full recovery and be ready in time for training camp.
The big man from Montenegro enjoyed a breakout season before the ankle injuries started popping up in March. He averaged 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds and his 56.4 shooting percentage was the second best in the league. He quickly supplanted Darko Milicic as the team’s starting center.
Pekovic finished third in the voting for the Most Improved Player award.
Cavaliers’ Irving selected top rookie
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Once Kyrie Irving finished cracking jokes, thanking Cleveland’s fans, his teammates and coaches, he looked down from the podium at the person who promised this would happen.
He was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.
“This award is for us,” Irving said to his father, Dred, who raised his son after his wife, Elizabeth, died 15 years ago. “We’re bringing it back home and we’re going to put it right on the mantle and we’re going to put some flashing lights on it so it shines throughout the whole entire house.”
This season, Irving shined brightest.
The 20-year-old ran away in voting by a nationwide media panel that could have handed in ballots with two months left in the season. There was really no other choice.
Irving received 117 of 120 possible first-place votes from writers and broadcasters and finished with 592 points, more than three times as many as Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio (170), who finished second despite missing most of the season with a knee injury. Denver’s Kenneth Faried (129) was a distant third.
Mavericks, Carlisle agree on contract
DALLAS — The coach who led the Dallas Mavericks to their only NBA championship is staying put.
Rick Carlisle has agreed to a new contract with the Mavericks, a year after winning the title. While terms weren’t released, owner Mark Cuban indicated in a statement Tuesday that the new contract is for at least as long as that initial four-year deal.
“We are excited that Rick will be back with the Mavericks for at least the next four years,” Cuban said. “He is a proven winner, a great teacher and a coach that will help the Mavericks improve as a team and as an organization.”
Doctor: Bulls’ Rose out 8-12 months
CHICAGO — The doctor who operated on Derrick Rose’s knee insists the Chicago Bulls’ star can dominate again.
It will take time, though.
Rose faces a recovery of eight months to a year.
The assessment by team physician Dr. Brian Cole on Tuesday means the point guard could return around mid-January to early February, or miss next season. The doctor added there is a chance Rose could be back sooner, but “we’re not going to rush it.”
The Bulls had already said Rose has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Cole said there were also two tears in his meniscus cartilage.
He said Rose is “doing great,” that the surgery went “extremely well” and he can still be an explosive player.
General manager Gar Forman insisted the Bulls won’t rush Rose, that they are more focused on the long term than the short-term hit they’ll take without him.
The GM is “hopeful” and “optimistic” his franchise player will return next season but isn’t sure he will.
“In putting this team together, everything was looking at the big picture, long term,” Forman said. “I think it’s our job to stay focused on that and to continue to look at what we feel is a long window of opportunity to have success and that’s how we’ll approach it.”