Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

OKC signs Westbrook to max $80 million deal, Love next?

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves management, Wolves news Updated: January 19, 2012 - 3:10 PM

Oklahoma City just announced it has signed Russell Westbrook to a contract extension.

Multiple outlets are reporting it's the max five-year "designated player" deal worth between $78 and $80 million.

The Wolves are prepared to pay Kevin Love the maximum salary -- see the notebook here from Wednesday's victory over Detroit -- but have been hoping to make it a four-year deal worth nearly $61 million so they could keep that "designated" category open.

They've also been waiting to see what Westbrook and New Orleans' Eric Gordon sign for.

Well, we've got one of those answers now.

If the Hornets come out and sign Gordon to a $80M deal the next few days, it'll be a foregone conclusion what the Wolves will have to pay Love.

Why not just do it now?

Btw, Westbrook's signing now essentially gives the Thunder two designated players since superstar Kevin Durant signed a big max extension under the league's old labor deal.

Love, meanwhile, did his best to continue avoiding the issue when asked about his contract status after practice Thursday.

"You have to talk to Glen (Taylor, Wolves owner) and that guy over there," Love said, pointing to Wolves GM David Kahn. "Nothing is easy. But we'll wait and see what happens. But between now and the 25th something will happen. Either something will happen positive or something will happen negative. But something will happen, that's for sure."

And if no deal gets done by the deadline? "It wouldn't be ideal," Love said. "So it would be nice to work something out. I enjoy it here, I enjoy my teammates, i enjoy the coaching staff, I enjoy the Twin Cities, even when it's cold. So it all depends on what happens with (Kahn) and Glen and my agent."

 

 

 

Other news today, from practice:

Michael Beasley will not make the trip to L.A. today for games tomorrow against the Clippers and Saturday at Utah because of that sprained foot.

Martell Webster and Brad MIller will, although Rick Adelman says he doesn't think either will play in either game.

Love spoke some about his contract situation after practice today. Kent Youngblood will add those quotes from him here shortly while I head to the airport for a flight to L.A.

Look for a big feature story on the Clippers -- yes, suddenly there's a second team in Los Angeles with the addition of Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler --  I picked up when I made a quick trip out there earlier this month on the web late tonight and in Friday's paper.

 

 

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