What started off as a dream with the verbal agreements of Diamantidis and Obradovic to remain a tthe club and the promise of a relaxed summer is now turning into a bad joke for the Green fans as after Spanoulis, another key player is ready to kiss the club goodbye, as Pekovic has agreed terms with Minnesota Timberwolves.
According to two anonymous sources of ESPN the Montenegrin center has agreed with Timberwolves for $13 millions (2.1 million euros net per season) for three seasons.
Another factor that helped Pekovic take the decision he did was the fact that Jefferson has good chances of leaving the team, so he not only will get playing time but could as well be a starter.
And last but not least factor is the player’s agent. Four summers ago Spanoulis and fellow ex-Yugo player Lakovic who were represented by the same agent left together. 2010 and again Spanoulis and ex-Yugo Pekovic are leaving the Greek champions.
The bad news have already alerted Zeljko Obradovic who halted his vacation in Italy and is expected back in Athens to think and hold a meeting regarding the club’s next moves.
Unfortunately for him he is all alone at the moment as the club’s management is in a some sort of “transfers moratorium” to express their dysphoria regarding the government’s decision to tax athletes’ contract with 45% (double than previously) while the Giannakopoulos family minds (and deep pockets) are concentrated to helping the football section of the club.
Seems that Obradovic had predicted all this and had asked for all key players to remain in the team as a provision to him signing as well. And although a verbal agreement has been reached between him and the club Zeljko Obradovic has yet to sign the new deal.
When Panathinaikos’ vice-president announced the agreement between the club and Obradovic, Sarunas Jasikevicius was quick to dismiss the deal saying “This isn’t what Obradovic told us” (the players).
The only positive thing now for Panathinaikos is that they got more than 5.5m to spend (Spanoulis 2m, Pekovic 1.7m + 1m buyout and Saras 1m), if they are willing that is. At this point even a move back to Sporting indoor arena of 1.500 fans capacity shouldn’t be ruled out as the club’s management is in summer hibernation.