When LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade came up for contract extensions, they all asked for three-year deals, or options that let them opt out of their deals after three years. The idea was simple — gain leverage over the team, pressure them to build a winner or they could lose their star. (We all know how that turned out.)
Those three were part of the trend — Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire all had early opt outs.
Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant didn’t go that way. Both players went for the full five-year deal, no opt-outs.
Rose could have had an opt-out from the Bulls, reports Brian Windhorst at ESPN’s TrueHoop. The Bulls would have given Rose anything he wanted — up to and including a small Caribbean island — but that’s not the way he wanted it.
“Most players of Derrick’s stature who are signing contracts, there are usually player options or early termination options within those,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. “Derrick absolutely didn’t want that. He wanted a full commitment from the Bulls. To us, that’s really special. He stepped up to sign the maximum length.”
“We had (an opt-out) in the contract, it was already negotiated,” said Durant’s agent, Aaron Goodwin. “Kevin asked us to take it out. He said the team was fully committed to him and that he should be fully committed to the team.”
LeBron clearly didn’t have full faith in the Cavaliers or GM Danny Ferry. Same for Stoudemire with the Suns and Bryan Colangelo. And you can make the argument that those franchises didn’t earn or deserve that trust front them.
Rose and Durant have that trust. They are different guys who want different things than their predecessors. Chicago and Oklahoma City should remember how lucky they are.