Source : JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Sports Writer Yahoo Sports
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Kevin Love watched friends Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook sign five-year extensions this season and was ready to do the same with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As the clock ticked down toward the deadline, it became abundantly clear that owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations David Kahn didn’t want to go that far.
So the two sides found a middle ground.
Love signed a four-year maximum extension Wednesday worth more than $60 million that allows him to opt out after three years.
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The deal offers the financial flexibility and protection from injury that the Timberwolves were seeking while giving the 23-year-old Love the freedom to become an unrestricted free agent in 2015 if he so chooses.
“Did I want the five years? Of course,” Love said on a conference call from Dallas, where the Timberwolves were facing the Mavericks on Wednesday night. “It was something I felt strongly about. But at the end of the day, a four-year deal is still great.”
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams can offer one player on their roster a five-year deal with annual raises of 7.5 percent, which is one year longer and three percentage points higher than any other team can offer.
GALLINARI SIGNS EXTENSION WITH NUGGETS
Source : PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer Yahoo Sports
DENVER (AP)—The Nuggets have been billing themselves as a team without a bona fide star.
That assertion is getting harder and harder to make, especially given the way 23-year-old Danilo Gallinarihas been playing this season.
Denver signed the smooth-shooting Gallinari to a four-year extension on Wednesday, worth $42 million.
The deal, first reported by the Denver Post and CBSSports, represents a big step for the Nuggets and their versatile Italian forward, who came over from the New York Knicks in the Carmelo Anthony trade last February.
The Nuggets have moved on from `Melo. Now, it’s Gallo’s time.
Gallinari is averaging career bests in points (17.4), assists (2.8) and steals (1.7) this season. He outplayed Anthony in the first meeting since they were swapped in the blockbuster trade, scoring a career-high 37 points as the Nuggets outlasted the Knicks 119-114 in double overtime on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
“Gallo has been excellent and done everything we have asked since we made the trade,” said Masai Ujiri, the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Nuggets. “Everybody is seeing how talented he is, and he’s only 23 years old. He is only going to get better.”