Kevin Love: Why Star PF Deserves More Money from the Minnesota Timberwolves

Bob Bajek@bobbajekAnalyst IIIJanuary 25, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 03:  Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives around Jermaine O'Neal #7 of the Boston Celtics on January 3, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Timberwolves 96-93. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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Kevin Love is apparently signing a four-year extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the superstar power forward deserves more money than the T'Wolves are throwing his way.

Love, a four-year veteran out of UCLA, was offered $60-62 million and a player's option before the fourth year. While the Timberwolves made this move for "flexibility," Love should have been offered the full five years max contract.

Love's situation is similar to Russell Westbrook's, as the electric point guard inked a five-year, $80 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook was shown he was just as important as small forward Kevin Durant, who signed a five-year, $85 million extension in July 2010.

As for Love, he has been a stellar player for the Timberwolves. Love won the NBA's Most Improved Player Award in 2010-11 for averaging 20.2 points on 47 percent shooting while grabbing a league-high 15.2 rebounds a game.

It seems Love is again stepping up his game this year, as the 6'10" phenom is pouring in 24.9 points and 13.9 rebounds a night. His player efficiency is a hefty 26.82 right now.

The Timberwolves building a strong core with Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio and rookie Derrick Williams, and K-Love should be the center of that core. Offering a 23-year-old superstar who has shown continual improvement $80 million isn't too much to ask.

Minnesota did lock up Love for a few years, but he was initially upset with not receiving the five-year max deal. How Love is playing currently shows that he isn't just the best player on the Timberwolves, but perhaps the NBA's premier power forward.

Love is a better rebounder than the New York Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire and has a stronger post presence than the Miami Heat's Chris Bosh. While Blake Griffin is lighting it up with the Los Angeles Clippers, Love has a better outside jumper and still outrebounds him.

Plus, K-Love is younger than Stoudemire (29) and Bosh (27) and is only six months older than Griffin (22).

And let's look at contracts. Stoudemire signed for five years and $100 million. Bosh inked a six-year, $110.1 million deal. Blake Griffin is still on his rookie contract, but the Clips would be insane to not re-sign their best player at a max deal.

Kevin Love is not only the league's best power forward, he is now easily a top-10 player and rising.

With his youth, increasing production and constant improvement, Love deserves to have that five-year, $80 million max contract. If the T'Wolves don't give him that contract this time around, K-Love will definitely get one from another team when his extension is up.

Bob Bajek is an NBA Featured Columnist. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed at and Twitter.