Kevin Love No Longer an Option for Phoenix Suns Next Season

Kevin BonnevilleContributor IIIJanuary 25, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 1: Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a foul during the second half of a basketball game against the Miami Heat at Target Center on April 1, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Heat defeated the Timberwolves 111- 92. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

One of the big fish that was expected to be in the 2012 free agency period is no longer available. Kevin Love, the power forward of the Minnesota Timberwolves, will sign a contract extension, according to numerous reports today.

It has been reported that Love's new contract will pay him $62 million over the next four years with an opt-out clause after the third year because the T'Wolves didn't give the former UCLA product a fifth year on his contract.

This development is obviously bad news for the Phoenix Suns. With lots of money under the cap for next season, the Phoenix organization was expected to make a run for Love this summer, despite him being a restricted free agent. Minnesota could have matched any deal the Suns offered to Love.

In his fourth season in the league, Love has become one of the best power forwards in the game. He has improved on his offensive game in every season since he entered the league and is arguably the best rebounder in basketball. He averaged an eye-popping 15.2 boards last season and he has followed that up with 13.9 rebounds this year.

Love, in a Suns uniform alongside Marcin Gortat, would have instantly given Phoenix one of the best frontcourts in the game. Love will remain in the Twin Cities for at least the next three seasons, though.

With Love now out of the picture, there are still some options out there for the Suns this coming offseason. Obviously both Dwight Howard and Deron Williams will be the two big names that will be of interest toa lot of Suns fans, but they are both long shots at best to come to the Valley.

There are plenty of other names that will be available in next year's class, but who they sign will all depend on what they do in the coming months ahead.

Will they trade Steve Nash before this year's trade deadline or will they keep and sign him to another extension that will keep him in Phoenix for the rest of his career? What do they do with young pieces like Markieff Morris and Jared Dudley? Will Robin Lopez be back in a Suns uniform next year? Who do they take in the draft?

All of these questions will be answered shortly and we will have a better understanding on what direction this organization is going in once free agency rolls around.