As expected, the Timberwolves today exercised 2011-12 contract options on Kevin Love, Micheal Beasley, Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington and Kosta Koufos.
Here's how the money for those extensions breaks down:
Beasley, $6.3 million
Love, $4.6 million
Flynn, $3.4 million
Koufos, $2.2 million
Ellington, $1.1 million
The only one of those that's a bit of a surprise is Koufos, who the Wolves were ready to move on to any willing takers when they accepted his contract in last summer's Al Jefferson at Utah's request.
But from what they've seen so far, they like his size, his agility, his shooting and he's active. And he's young, just 21.
He's also a relatively small number -- $2.2 million -- on their cap space.
Those five are all second- and third-year players who had team options on their contract.
Fourth-year Corey Brewer, meanwhile, now will become a restricted free agent next summer (if the team extends him a qualifying offer after the season) because the Wolves had little interest in reaching a contract extension with him by today's deadline.
David Kahn called such a move "premature" given the team's sudden abundance of athletic wings and the uncertainty of what contract rules will be in place when a new labor agreement is reached next summer or beyond.
Brewer's inability to find his shooting touch also probably contributed a good bit, too.
The Wolves will practice in Miami this afternoon to prepare for a Heat team -- yes, THAT Heat team -- that absolutely dismantled formerly mighty Orlando here in their home opener Friday night.
Dwight Howard had 19 by halftime in that one and didn't score again. The Heat held the Magic to 25 second-half points and, my, was it impressive, especially against one of the hardest teams to defend in the league because of Howard's inside presence and the Magic's array of shooters.
And these guys only played all together for about three minutes in the preseason.
NBA commish David Stern pooh-poohed questions about the threat to the league's competitiveness balance by this alignment of superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (OK, comparatively he only counts for half a superstar).
But after watching Friday's game -- and admittedly it's just one game, but against a team that rolled through the preseason and a 29-point victory over Washington on its opening night -- you wonder.
At least the Wolves got one thing going for them tomorrow night: They got LeBron distracted by that Anthony Tolliver video he recorded and posted on Youtube.com last summer.
If you didn't see the story over the weekend, you can find it here: