Deadline approaching on Love's extension

BY foxsports • January 19, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — On the same day Russell Westbrook signed a contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder for a reported $80 million over five years, Kevin Love discussed his own contract negotiations with the Timberwolves.

Westbrook — who played with Love at UCLA and was chosen fourth, one spot before Love, in the 2008 draft — is the latest member of their class to sign an early extension instead of becoming a restricted free agent. Derrick Rose, 2008's No. 1 pick, signed a five-year, $94.8 million extension with the Bulls in December.

The deadline for teams to sign these players to early extensions is less than a week away, on Wednesday.

Love said Thursday that a maximum contract hasn't been put on the table yet, to his knowledge, but right now his agent is handling things. With six days left to negotiate, Love said the deadline will not pass without something happening.

"Either something will happen positive or something will happen negative," Love said.

He'd like to get the negotiations out of the way, especially because right now he's concentrating on continuing the team's second two-game winning streak of the season. To leave things unresolved past next Wednesday, Love said, would not be ideal.

"It'd be nice to work something out. I enjoy it here," he said. "I enjoy my teammates. I enjoy the coaching staff. I enjoy the Twin Cities, even when it's cold."

Love is averaging 25.2 points and 14.5 rebounds per game for the 6-8 Timberwolves, and he's had a double-double in each of his team's 14 games. In the end, he said, he needs to look at things on a "grander scale." If he keeps playing the way he's playing, everything should take care of itself.

"Hard work pays off," Love said.

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