Durant has two years remaining on the five-year, $86 million extension he signed with the Thunder in summer 2010. He deliberately committed to five years in Oklahoma City, without any early termination or player options, to demonstrate his commitment to the franchise and appreciation for the city.
Now, though, shorter contracts that allow more flexibility and leverage are in vogue for superstars such as James and Durant. Asked Tuesday why he gave up that flexibility in 2010, Durant said, "To be honest, I just didn't know. I was 21. I didn't know. Obviously, when you sign a deal, you want to have the best options for yourself, the best flexibility for yourself. But I loved Oklahoma City so much I just wanted to dedicate and show them that I'm all about the team."