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Karl-Anthony Towns gets player option on super-max extension, Devin Booker doesn’t

Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns in Phoenix Suns v Minnesota Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 23: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves plays defense on Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the game on March 23, 2022 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

There was once talk – fueled by D’Angelo Russell – of Suns star Devin Booker and Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns teaming up in the NBA.

Instead, Booker and Towns just signed super-max contract extensions to stay with their current teams.

But for how long?

In an era of star movement, team control matters a great deal. Sure, players can request trades whenever they want. But the longer a team has a player under contract, the more power it holds – to deny a trade request or get greater return in a trade. Plus, the next Collective Bargaining Agreement might curtail players’ ability to force their way out. So, it’s never too early to look ahead for players of this caliber.

Towns got a player option in 2027. Booker is locked in with Phoenix through 2028.

Keith Smith of Spotrac:

It’s surprising Towns got more-favorable contract terms than Booker. The Suns have had way more team success with Booker than the Timberwolves with Towns. Booker plays a more premium position (shooting guard) than Towns (big). Minnesota just had to trade a boatload of assets for Rudy Gobert to cover for Towns’ defensive weaknesses. Booker has developed into a two-way player.

But credit to Towns and his agent for getting the player option. And credit Phoenix for winning this aspect of the negotiation.

Maybe it won’t matter. Maybe Towns will opt in. Maybe Booker wouldn’t have opted out, anyway.

But player options can be so valuable. Not only do they allow players to hit free agency and leave, they also give players an opportunity to re-up with their current teams for even more compensation (via a raise and/or new long-term deal). Towns will have options that Booker doesn’t in 2027.

Considering the stakes of having a player like either of those two, that could matter greatly in a few years.