Commentary

Is Kevin Love worth a max deal?

Assessing Love's value and whether he'll be in Minnesota for the long term

Updated: January 6, 2012, 3:33 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | Basketball Prospectus
Kevin LoveJesse Johnson/US PresswireKevin Love and the Timberwolves have gotten off to a good start this season.

The howl is back in the Minnesota Timberwolves for the first time since the days when Kevin Garnett graced the Target Center with his primal screams.

After six straight losing seasons, the last four of which have featured less than 20 wins per campaign, Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love and the T-Wolves have become one of the most exciting teams in the league. Rubio has already ascended to rock-star status in the Twin Cities, a perfect storm of charisma, flair and productivity. Love, already one of the game's most productive players, has gotten even better and has cemented his status as one of the NBA's 10 best players. The fans have noticed, too. Attendance at the Target Center is up nearly 2,000 fans per game over last season and, at an average of around 17,100, is at a level not seen since the Garnett-led teams were in the upper echelon of the Western Conference.

Sadly, there may be a wolf of a different sort lurking in the shadows of this fairytale. Peter Vecsey of the New York Post recently reported that Love has not yet been offered the contract extension for which he will soon be eligible.

Let's leave aside the question of whether that report is true and instead put on our general manager's cap to look at whether Love is worthy of a max contract.