Love’s extension hangs in the air

Benjamin Polk —  December 22, 2011 — 9 Comments

It’s not news exactly, but Jerry Zgoda at the Strib has good information about the possibility of a contract extension for Kevin Love:

The NBA’s new labor agreement allows every team to designate one player coming off his rookie contract to whom it can offer a five-year, maximum salary contract extension. The team can offer raises in excess of 7 percent annually while all other teams can only offer four years and 4-plus percent raises…But in a market where big men Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler and Nene just signed new contracts that will pay them between $13 million and $14 million per year, Love could receive a maximum contract that would pay him as much as $82 million over five years.

Or, put another way, $81,625,000 more than a person would need to be happy over that span of time. But as far as actual news as to what might happen come January 25th, the deadline for offering extensions to players like Love approaching the end of their rookie deals–not much to go on. When Love was asked whether he had decided whether he would seek a max extension, he replied, “Not really. I’m still thinking things through. It’s just going to depend on what they think is right and what me and my agent decide as well. We’ll look at the scenarios.” In other words, “please stop asking me about it because I won’t tell you anything anyway.”

So we don’t know what’s going to happen in a month from now. Which just means that we’ve got more time to chew on a problem we discussed some weeks back: just what is Kevin Love worth to an NBA basketball team? How much would you pay this guy?

Benjamin Polk

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9 responses to Love’s extension hangs in the air

  1. I like Kevin Love, but I hope he doesn’t get a max contract. A max contract guy should be able to get an NBA team into the playoffs, regardless of the supporting cast, for the most part. If he was worth that much money, the wolves would have won more than 17 games last season.

  2. Word. I can’t justify giving him that much either. Let someone offer him a contract as a restricted FA and then match it.

  3. The Wolves may have to go higher than just matching another contract. Love is a great guy as far as saying the right things in public, but I wonder how much he really wants to stay here. I don’t think he dislikes it, but his experience here has been playing in a half-empty arena with a coaching staff that has been largely disappointing while winter rages on outside.

    Maybe just matching another offer will be good enough, but the team will have to turn a corner this year for that to work.

  4. Mike, if Love signs an offer sheet with another team at the end of the season, it doesn’t matter if matching is “good enough”. He doesn’t have a choice- that’s why it’s called Restricted Free agency. If the Wolves match, than his contract is duplicated for the TWolves and he has to stay here. The only choice Love would have if he wanted to leave is to sign the 1 year qualifying offer and then leave into unrestricted Free agency at the end of ’12-13. As far as this coming offseason goes, the Wolves hold all of the cards.

    Love is durable and possesses at least 1 elite basketball skill- (I would argue 3- Rebounding, 3pt shooting, Offensive post game). I would be thrilled if the Wolves matched or offered a max money extension for him. IMO, 20-10 big men are worth max money.

    Love is better than David Lee, Al Jefferson, Rashard Lewis, Rudy Gay, Andrei Kirilenko, DeAndre Jordan, etc, and look at the money that was offered to THOSE guys. Make no mistake about it, somebody will offer Love a truckload of money- The issue really isn’t if he will get offered max or near max money, it’s weather the Wolves will match the offer or not.

  5. I really like Kevin Love, but I’m a bit confounded by this talk of max contract. I go to the games and opposing teams often score points because of poor defense by Love (and Beasley, and the team). But when it comes to super-star-dom it is all Kevin Love and everyone seems to think Beasley is “expendable.” I don’t agree. I’d like to keep Kevin Love and pay him a good-even-great amount – more than Beasley, but a great team has to be able to also keep a Beasley and other stars to make a deep run into the playoffs.

    I’m really looking forward to the coming season for the following reasons:
    1. Rubio versus Flynn = at least a four game swing.
    2. DWilliams versus whoever got those minutes last year = at least a two game swing.
    3. Team-wide maturity = at least a 1 game swing
    4. Adelman versus Rambis = at least a six game swing
    5. JJ Barea versus whoever got those minutes last year = at least a two game swing.

    So if were were going into a full 82 game season I’d expect at least 32 wins. Anything at or below it means regression really. So for the 66 game season I’m saying that 26 wins is the measure to see if we made THE MINIMUM of progress. I think we max out at 32 wins this season – just under .500.

  6. Obviously he will get and deserves a max contract. The issue isn’t that Love isn’t worth that amount, it’s that LeBron James is massively underpaid. When you put artificial maximums on what players can earn, you will wind up with a lot more than the best half dozen or so players making that maximum. It’s arguable that LeBron James is worth upwards of $50 million a year.

    Mike’s position above is wrong. Love was brilliant last year, and appears poised to continue this year. The fact that the rest of the team ranged from below replacement to below average, and that it was coached by a guy apparently bent on exposing his team’s weaknesses is not his fault.

    Someone is going to give him a maximum contract. It needs to be the Wolves.

  7. EinM – such a breath of fresh air. I don’t think the ‘Lebron is underpaid’ aspect gets enough pub when talking about extensions for Nene, Marc Gasol, or Love. In a true free market, Lebron is vastly underpaid. So is KD and probably Westbrook too. But there’s an arbitrary cap, and Love is well worth that cap. Think of it this way – if Darko is legitimately worth $4 million a year, which is the going rate for a competent defensive 7′ who can give you 15-20 minutes a night – and Lebron is worth $50 million a year, what is a guy like Love worth? $17 million? $25 million? Dude helps his team win. He showed last night that he can do what it takes to get wins, be it rebounding, draining threes or drawing FTAs, or hitting open team mates for shots. Because he doesn’t have Shawn Kemp explosiveness people think he’s not worth the max. That’s a bunch of horsesh%t.

    Sign the man to the max. Make a statement that rebuilding is over. Our search for anchors or someone to step up is over. Give some structure to the careers and roles of Rubio, Beasley, Williams, Lee, Darko, and others. At some point you have to sh*t or get off the pot. The man has been as productive in fewer minutes than Pau Gasol over the first three years of their career. Give him the max and let him and Rubio start figuring out how to make Beas and DThrill star scorers.

  8. Loving the energy here. I think I’m with you EiM and Biggity. Just pay the man (and let Adelman worry about how to get these guys to defend).

  9. I would pay him max money…no use offending him with a lowball offer or showing how cheap the team is “willing” to be. Jefferson took less money when he signed his contract because he felt he wasn’t worth the max dollar amount….and rightfully so. I’m sure Love can figure out if a player takes up a huge percentage of cap space of one team he better be the leader or risk living in futility for those years to come. Love has his head on straight and if he thinks he’s worth the max he will try to live up to it.

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