Originally written on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 1/25/12

Today is the deadline to extend ’08 draft picks, and the T-Wolves and Nuggets have wisely elected to secure the services of Kevin Love and Danilo Gallinari for another four years… or maybe just three in the case of Kevin Love.  Love’s $62 million extension does cover four seasons, but it comes with an opt-out clause that gives him the option of becoming an unrestricted free agent after just three.  If Love were to exercise this option his contract would become a three-year deal worth something like $45 million.  Via WEEI.com…

The Timberwolves made a key move Wednesday in keeping a strong, promising core of young players together in the Twin Cities, as All-Star forward Kevin Love agreed a four-year contract extension with the team.

Tweeted Love: “To #twolves fans: I’ll be in Minnesota for 4 more years! Excited to see you when I get back to Minneapolis.”

The deal includes a player option in the final year of a four-year deal worth in excess of $60 million, according to ESPN.

I’m going to assume this opt-out clause is what held up the negotations.  Minnesota would have to be absolutely crazy not to toss the biggest, longest deal possible at their young franchise player.  While the T-Wolves are still a sub-.500 team as of right now, it’s quite clear that they’ve made strides in the right direction.  With Rick Adelman at the helm, Kevin Love gobbling up the rebounds, and Ricky Rubio running the point, this team has more promise than any group the T-Wolves have presented since the Kevin Garnett era.  There aren’t a whole lot of players out there who are of Love’s caliber, and the few who are probably aren’t interested in calling the Target Center home.

As for Gallinari, he’s set to earn $42 million, or just over $10 million per year.  For the record, that’s about half of what the Knicks are paying Carmelo Anthony anually.  Via The Denver Post…

Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari has agreed to a four-year contract extension, a league source told The Denver Post. The 23-year-old small forward will make close to $42 million in that four year span. The deal signifies Denver’s dedication to building around a young nucleus, the same nucleus that was handed the keys after Denver traded Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups 13 months ago.

I love Danilo for $10 million a year.  He’s just 23 years old and he’s already the team’s number-one option.  He’s not superstar caliber, but that’s not supertar money.  Denver gave Nene a bigger deal than I felt they should have, but they’re also a better team than I thought they would be.  Now that they’ve proven to be a competitive team and secured Gallinari it makes a bit more sense.  I assume their next move will be to re-sign Wilson Chandler upon his return from China and move forward with this solid young core. 

Other ’08 draftees who are yet to be extended include Roy Hibbert, Eric Gordon, and Ryan Anderson.  Gordon received a four-year offer from the Hornets that has recently been approved by David Stern.  He has the rest of today to decide whether or not he wants to sign it.

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