Wolves, Jefferson agree to extension

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 1, 2007 - 12:04 AM

The 6-10 forward/center signed for five years and $65 million. The team also exercised options on guards Randy Foye and Rashad McCants.

The Timberwolves beat a late-night deadline Wednesday and signed promising Al Jefferson to a five-year, $65 million contract extension that keeps the centerpiece of last summer's Kevin Garnett trade with the franchise through 2013.

The Wolves had until 11 p.m. Wednesday to sign Jefferson, a 6-10 forward/center selected 15th overall by Boston in the 2004 NBA draft, to an extension and reached an agreement with Jefferson's agent, Jeff Schwartz, just before the deadline.

"We're thrilled to have Al be a cornerstone for the Timberwolves for years to come," Wolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said in a statement. "Al is only going to continue to get better."

Earlier Wednesday, the Wolves exercised the contract options for next season on young guards Randy Foye and Rashad McCants while passing on the chance to extend the contract of guard/forward Gerald Green, who was acquired from Boston in July in the five-player, two-draft-pick deal for Garnett.

McHale said Jefferson's physical style of play near the basket and the promise of a 22-year-old who went directly from high school to the NBA four years ago convinced him to pass on other trade offers for Garnett and strike the deal with the Celtics in July.

Jefferson's play in the preseason -- he averaged 17.9 points, 13.4 rebounds and 31 minutes in eight games -- might have convinced the Timberwolves to sign him now rather than later.

He would have become a restricted free agent next July, when the Wolves would have retained the rights to match any other team's offer.

"Al's better than I thought he was," McHale said, "and I thought he was pretty good."

Jefferson will make $2.48 million this season. The contract extension will begin with the 2008-2009 season.

On Monday, Jefferson called a $60 million-plus contract extension "something I don't really worry about" because the first year of the big money won't come until next season either way.

"If you get it done or it don't get done, I'm still going to go out and be a beast," he said. "It's not something I go home and think about every day."

Newly acquired Timberwolf Antoine Walker, a three-time NBA All-Star, played with Jefferson in Boston in 2005 and said Tuesday that he'd consider a substantial extension for Jefferson a wise investment.

"He's as polished on the low block as I've ever seen in a 22-year-old," Walker said. "He's going to continue to get better. He's definitely going to be an All-Star in this league."

Foye -- the team's projected starting point guard who is expected to miss at least the season's first three weeks because of a stress reaction on his left kneecap -- will earn $2.81 million next season, his third year in the NBA.

Green will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

McHale called Foye, who was named to the NBA's All-Rookie team last season, and McCants, who underwent microfracture knee surgery in June 2006, "a big part of our future" in a statement.


    Season opener: 7 p.m. Friday • Target Center • TV: Ch. 45 (106.1-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question