Kevin Love

Six days before the league deadline, the Timberwolves are prepared to pay All-Star forward Kevin Love a maximum-salary contract, a league source said Wednesday.

Unresolved is whether it will be a four-year contract approaching $61 million or a maximum five-year “designated player” deal surpassing $78 million.

The NBA’s new labor agreement allows every team one designated player — a player ending his rookie contract who receives a five-year maximum-salary contract extension — on their roster.

The Wolves prefer to save that designated-player slot for the future — to re-sign Ricky Rubio in three years, perhaps — but their negotiations with agent Jeff Schwartz might depend on what deals Oklahoma City reaches with Russell Westbrook and New Orleans reaches with Eric Gordon.

– Reported by Jerry Zgoda and Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Read NBA fan opinion or share your views in this basketball forum topic.