It shouldn't be too surprising that two of the gems of the 2010 free agent class – Chris Bosh and LeBron James - are starting to waffle on their commitment to go shopping this summer and are sending out signals that a contract extension might be the best answer.
At some level, we all want to believe that winning matters most. That our heroes and favorite star-level players want to win and be in situations to win – however the NBA is a business first and as we've seen over and over, players go where the dollars are first and very few players leave money on the table.
Chris Bosh is off the trade market. Sources close to the situation say not only is he happy with the direction of the franchise, but that he is open to doing a new deal in Toronto, something the Raptors are more than willing to do.
Cleveland's LeBron James is playing some of the best basketball of his life and the Cavs are rolling through teams. Sources close to that situation say if the Cavs can make a major trade that brings in the believed 'missing piece' the Cavs might also get James' signature on an extension, well before New York, New Jersey or Miami has a chance to give their free agent pitch to him.
Why the change in course? Maybe it's the appeal of staying in a situation you know and control. Maybe it's the fear of the unknown. There has been a lot of "doomsday" talk regarding the labor front, things like a radical reduction in salary cap, a radical reduction in maximum salaries, even a lockout.
Next year's unknown will affect this year's free agents. Mainly because teams that would be trying to build a winner around a LeBron or a Bosh may not be able to get all the pieces in one shot and with the rules looking to change pretty dramatically in the next 16 months none of these guys are willing to drop their current teams to get marooned in a new situation.
Keeping Bosh in Toronto and LeBron in Cleveland will be major wins for both franchises. It will also change the landscape of July's free agent class as the team's hoping to steal one or both may have to start looking at the next names on the list and Memphis' Rudy Gay and Atlanta's Joe Johnson may see a lot more interest if Bosh and James ink deals before July 1st.
Neither player has an extension in hand, but you can bet after the dust settles on the NBA trade deadline those talks will resume as it seems both players are at least open to the idea, something neither seemed remotely interested in back in October.