From The Pioneer Press:
Look for the Timberwolves to offer Kevin Love a $60 million, four year contract extension within in the next eight days.
Love, 23, who is playing for $4.6 million this season, can become a restricted free agent after the season unless he signs an extension before Jan. 25. If he opts for free agency, the Wolves would have the right to match any outside offer. Love also can return to Minnesota in 2012-13 for $6.1 million and become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Taking a quiet moment to collect myself. Massaging my temples gently. A deep breath.
Ok, Kahn. WHAT (SLAP) THE (SLAP) HELL (SLAP) ARE (SLAP) YOU (SLAP) DOING?!
It’s a pretty basic NBA principle: you don’t kill your team by overpaying stars. You kill your team by overpaying bad players. That’s why the amnesty clause was included in the latest CBA: to help out teams who spent $35 million on Travis freaking Outlaw. That’s also why you weren’t about to see the Lakers amnesty Kobe, even though he was the biggest (by far) contract on their books. He’s a great player, and paying great players a lot of money is good NBA business. Minnesota’s roster is full of decent, affordable contracts. They can afford to give Kevin Love the maximum.
It is ESSENTIAL to Minnesota’s continued development as a team that they keep Kevin Love. He is the face of this franchise (sorry Ricky), a 23 year old all star who scores in the paint, hits open three pointers, rebounds better than anyone in the league, and is probably three years from hitting the absolute prime of his career.
Now, I understand that 4 years/$60 million is essentially the max minus a year. But it’s $20 million that Kevin Love isn’t guaranteed to get. Since Minnesota could offer him another year, why wouldn’t Love feel a little low-balled? And why would he sign a contract with a team that is low-balling him?
The long and the short of this whole situation is that the Timberwolves can’t afford to lose their best scorer just when their roster has begun to look respectable again. Minnesota’s fans have suffered through a series of devastatingly awful seasons. They have rallied around this young, entertaining team on the idea of hope. If Minnesota loses Kevin Love, they lose that hope.
And THAT is something they truly can’t afford.