It was unsurprising to hear that Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love was happy that the organization was able to agree to a five-year extension with restricted free-agent center Nikola Pekovic. After all, Pek gives Love a talented and physical running mate in the Wolves’ frontcourt, making them one of the best duos of big men in the NBA.
The present looks extremely bright for Minnesota. With the signings of Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer, as well as the re-signing of Chase Budinger, this Timberwolves team has the chance to break a nine-year playoff drought. With a core of Love, Pekovic, Ricky Rubio and a solid supporting cast to go along with them, it seems like a distinct possibility, even in the deep Western Conference.
However, even though the future looks bright, the Timberwolves have to be keeping a wary eye on the future, particularly the summer of 2015 when Love has a player option. If he took the option, he would become an unrestricted free-agent in the summer of 2016.
Love was particularly unhappy with the Wolves’ front office (namely David Kahn) when he agreed to a four-year, $60.8 million extension. Love felt that Kahn and the front office in Minnesota weren’t giving him the respect that he deserved as a player by not offering him a max contract. Because of that friction, many people expected Love might decline his player option and bolt from Minnesota.
However, now that Kahn is gone, Love seems to be much happier. In a recent NBA chat, HoopsWorld’s Steve Kyler reported that Love and new general manager Flip Saunders are on extremely good terms, talking regularly. Kyler also added that Love is much happier with the situation in Minnesota.
Even with that, though, there are never any guarantees in this league; Love could still go elsewhere when the time comes, which would leave the Wolves going back to the drawing board. However, the Wolves and the fans have to be more optimistic about the chances of him staying, which will have to suffice for now.