Danilo Gallinari, Kevin Love agree to contract extensions with respective NBA teams: ESPN


AFP

NEW YORK–Italian playmaker Danilo Gallinari and Minnesota forward Kevin Love have agreed to contract extensions on Wednesday with their NBA clubs. Gallinari’s new deal with the Denver Nuggets, according to ESPN, is a four-year contract worth US$42 million. He was traded from New York last season in the swap that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks. Gallinari, in his fourth NBA campaign, is averaging 17.4 points and 5.2 rebounds a game for the Nuggets, who at 12-5 trail only Oklahoma City in the Western Conference. Love, who helped the United States win the 2010 world championship and figures to be a member of this year’s U.S. Olympic squad, signed a four-year deal worth US$62 million to stay with the Minnesota Timberwolves. “It means a lot to me,” Love said. “I’ve put in all the hard work in my 3 1/2 years as a Timberwolf. It has all paid off for me. I’m continuing to work as hard as possible to help this team win basketball games.” Love is averaging 24.9 points and 13.9 rebounds in a league-high 39.8 minutes a game but the Timberwolves, who have not reached the NBA playoffs since 2004, are last in the NBA’s Northwest division at 7-10. Minnesota granted Love a player option in the final year of the deal. Love was eligible for a five-year deal worth US$80 million but the T-Wolves did not offer the maximum, leaving Love to push for the opt-out clause. That could make him a free agent in 2015 if the team’s struggles continue. “There is definitely a strong base, a strong foundation with this group,” Love said. Love was named last season’s NBA Most Improved Player after averaging 20.2 points and a league-best 15.2 rebounds. He was the first player with more than 20 points and 15 rebounds in the same season since Moses Malone in 1982-83. “I am happy for Kevin who deserves to have the financial security that this contract affords him,” Timberwolves president David Kahn said. “Kevin has worked extremely hard to earn this and we’re thrilled he’ll be with us for many years to come.”