Timberwolves, Love agree to 4-year extension
K-Love is excited to see you when he gets back to MPLS.
Just hours before a deadline that would've allowed him to become a restricted free agent next summer, Kevin Love and the Timberwolves have agreed to a compromise, reports ESPN.
According to Marc Stein and Chris Broussard, later today K-Love will sign a contract extension paying the all-start power forward $62 million for four more years donning the Wolves' blue and black. Love will have a player option after his third year "to ensure that he likes the direction of the team."
If he opts out after the third year of the deal, he'd be a free agent during the summer of 2015.
Reports have suggested Wolves management have been offering Love 4 years and $62 million all along. Love, however, wanted a maximum deal of 5 years, $80 million. But since the club can only have one player on its roster signed to a maximum contract, Wolves management wouldn't budge from their offer.
Love, 23, is perhaps the most skilled rebounder in the league (last year he led the NBA by averaging 15.2 'bounds per-game). During the summer of 2010 he added a deadly long-range shot to his repertoire, and his scoring average this year is nearly 25 points per-game, good for fourth in the league.
But the 6'10" Love is arguably too small to effectively guard some of the NBA's elite offensive centers, and he isn't a shut-down defender at power forward either. His defensive shortcomings and relative lack of athleticism raised questions about whether the Wolves would be making a move management would regret if they offered a max deal.
The 4-year deal with an opt-out clause represents a compromise. The Wolves get to build the roster around Love and promising 21-year-old Spaniard Ricky Rubio for at least three more seasons. Love, on the other hand, can bail if the team hasn't turned the corner by 2015. At 26 and in the prime of his career, he should still get huge-money offers three years down the road.
:: UPDATE ::
Moments ago, Love confirmed the ESPN report with the following tweet:
To #twolves fans: I'll be in Minnesota for 4 more years! Excited to see you when I get back to Minneapolis.
-- Kevin Love (@kevinlove) January 25, 2012
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