More Than Talent

01Nov07

When Al Jefferson signed his 5-year, 65 million dollar contract extension earlier this week, he did so against the advise of his agent. His agent had advised him to wait until the season was over, so that he could sign for max money. But, Jefferson never had that intention, and didn’t want to be selfish or cost his team in the long run.

“I didn’t even think I was worth max this year anyway. I would’ve been a fool to go up there and ask for max, having not really proved myself for that. So the number I got was the number that was my goal from Day 1. And I think it was a win, win situation.”

According to reports, around 7 p.m. on Wednesday night, Jefferson’s agent told him that the talks were dead, and that a deal would not get done. But Jefferson let him know that he wasn’t interested in max money, and urged him to get the extension signed before the 11 p.m. deadline later that night.

Now that the Wolves have Jefferson locked up, they can move on and look towards other moves that will be key to a bright future. With Jefferson’s unselfishness, the Wolves will have a lot more money to pursue other big name free agents in the future, something they didn’t have much of a chance to do with Garnett’s costly contract.

When Jefferson came over, we basically knew what to expect from him on the court, and he has since proven to be even better than advertised. We also heard all of these things about the type of guy he was off the court, and he has absolutely blown us away with his actions thus far.

The time of the trade came at a difficult time for Minnesota as the state went through the bridge tragedy. The incident actually happened the same night that Jefferson arrived in Minneapolis. But Jefferson showed us right away what he was all about. Along with Wolves coach Randy Wittman, Jefferson hosted lunch for the 58 children that were on the bus when the bridge collapsed.

Jefferson has said all of the right things since his arrival, and both on and off the court has been first class. He may not feel like he is worth max money with his play, but with his leadership and unselfishness he is definitely worth all the money he will be receiving, and he is definitely the player that I want to build the franchise around.

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