Timberwolves sign Rubio to 4-year extension

Rubio was second in the NBA with 2.32 steals per game last season. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract extension on Friday with point guard Ricky Rubio, according to ESPN.

The agreement comes just hours before the 11 p.m. EDT deadline for fourth-year players. Had Rubio not agreed to a new contract Friday, he would have become a restricted free agent after this season. His deal comes just after Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson agreed to a four-year, $70 million extension — the maximum value allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

Rubio, the fifth-overall pick by the Timberwolves in the 2009 draft, averaged a career-high 8.6 assists per game last season, his third in the NBA after making his debut in 2011.

He is one of the cornerstones of the franchise after they traded forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in August for rookie Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and forward Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick last year.