Timberwolves, Al Jefferson agree to contract extension
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has reached an agreement on a multi-year contract extension with forward Al Jefferson. Per team policy, financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. InsideHoops.com will report contract details on Thursday.
"We're thrilled to have Al be a cornerstone of the Timberwolves for years to come, and that we were able to reach an agreement prior to tonight’s deadline," said Timberwolves Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. "Al has proven that at only 22 years of age he is among the rising stars in the NBA. He is extremely talented, hard working and shows a tremendous willingness to learn and improve in all facets of the game. Al is only going to continue to get better. This is another step in our efforts to continue to solidify our core group of young and talented players."
Acquired from Boston in a trade on July 31, Jefferson was originally selected by the Celtics with the 15th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft from Prentiss High School (Miss.). During the 2006-07 campaign, Jefferson averaged a double-double with 16.0 ppg (.514 FG%) and 11.0 rpg in 33.6 mpg in 69 contests (60 starts). The 6-10 forward more than doubled both his scoring and rebounding output from the previous campaign (7.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg in 18.0 mpg). Last season, Jefferson ranked 12th in the NBA in total rebounds (756) and defensive rebounds (519) as well as 11th in offensive rebounds (237) and ninth in defensive rebounds per game (7.5). His 69 games played in 2006-07 fell one game short of the league minimum to qualify his 11.0 rpg amongst the league leaders, which would have ranked seventh in that category. For his three-year career, the 22-year-old has averaged 10.3 ppg and 6.9 rpg while shooting 51.3% from the field.
During the preseason, Jefferson led the Wolves in scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.9 ppg and 13.4 rpg. In eight preseason contests (seven starts), he logged a team-high 247 minutes (30.9 mpg) and shot 55.2% (58-for-105) from the field.