Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love will stay in Midwestern state for the immediate future — he and his team has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth a reported $60-62 million million.
According to ESPN, the deal gives the 23-year-old the option to opt out of his contract in the fourth year if he doesn’t like the direction of the team. Love wanted a five year contract, but accepted the four-year deal with the option on the last year.
Via the deal, Love will stay with the Timberwolves, at least, through the summer of 2015.
“Did I want the five years? Of course,” Love said this week. “It was something I felt strongly about, but at the end of the day, a four-year deal is still great.
“I like the direction the team is headed,” he continued. “I like the youth. I like the pieces, like we’re knocking at the door and we’re close in a lot of games.”
Before the deal was announced, a post on Love’s verified Twitter page (@KevinLove) hinted that it was all but complete: “To #twolves fans: I’ll be in Minnesota for 4 more years! Excited to see you when I get back to Minneapolis.”
ESPN says that Love was eligible for a five-year, $80 million extension — which the Oklahoma City Thunder awarded guard Russell Westbrook last week. But the Wolves refused to budge on their offer, said reports. It would’ve made him Minnesota’s “designated player.” Based on the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement, every team is allowed to have one “designated player”, who receives a five-year maximum extension on his rookie contract.
Love has emerged as the new face of the franchise who hasn’t had a star since Kevin Garnett (who was traded to the Celtics in 2007).
The Minnesota star is currently averaging 24.9 points and 13.9 rebounds per game. If he finishes the season with those averages, he’d be the first player to do so since Moses Malone in 1981-82.