MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Wally Szczerbiak agreed to a six-year, $63 million contract extension with the Timberwolves that could keep him in Minnesota through the 2008-09 season.
Coming off a career season in which he made the All-Star team, Szczerbiak's deal was agreed upon just before the midnight EST deadline for extending the contracts of 1999 first-round picks.
A team source, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said the extension was worth $63 million.
"I can't say enough how excited I am and how thankful I am," Szczerbiak said before Minnesota's home game against the Orlando Magic.
The agreement was a surprise for both sides.
Szczerbiak and his agent, Gary Wichard, had been asking for the maximum salary allowed for a player of his experience. Last week, Wolves owner Glen Taylor told reporters that he didn't think the deal would get done in time. The feeling was mutual.
"I didn't think it was going to get done Wednesday night," Szczerbiak said.
But Wolves vice president Kevin McHale said Szczerbiak and Wichard "made a significant move to try to get closer to us," and the negotiations picked up.
The reason: Szczerbiak simply wanted to stay in Minnesota.
"He just made it very clear to Kevin and I that this is where he wanted to stay," Taylor said.
Wichard didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Szczerbiak averaged 18.7 points and 4.8 rebounds last season and made his first All-Star team. But his ride with the Wolves hasn't always been smooth. A magazine article last year depicted Szczerbiak as a brash, selfish young player who was at odds with star forward Kevin Garnett over who got the spotlight.
Both Szczerbiak and Garnett said the article was inaccurate.
Szczerbiak's numbers also declined after the All-Star break as opposing defenses keyed on him.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.