The latest twist? A maximum contract extension.
That’s just another milestone in a rapid and steady rise for the point guard from the city’s South Side to stardom with his hometown team.
The reigning NBA MVP agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Chicago Bulls worth approximately $94 million, a person familiar with the situation said.
The Chicago Tribune, citing anonymous sources, first reported the deal.
The person spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Tuesday night because the deal had not been finalized. The extension will start in the 2012-13 season, when Rose is eligible to make about $16 million. The Bulls scheduled a news conference for Wednesday, though they won’t say what it is for.
“It’s something big, but I think I want to talk more about it (Wednesday), with my family and everybody being there,” the star point guard said after the Bulls‘ preseason victory over Indiana on Tuesday night. “But it’s definitely something big.”
And, teammates say, it was well-earned.
“We’re all very excited for him,” Carlos Boozer said. “He deserves it. He puts in a lot of effort. I wish the contract was for 10 years.”
The chance to join Rose in the backcourt was a big draw for Richard Hamilton. The veteran shooting guard signed with the Bulls last week after being bought out by the Detroit Pistons, and so far, he likes what he sees.
“He works hard,” Hamilton said. “He’s young. He’s 23 years old and the way he plays on the floor is the way he practices. In order to be great in this league, you just can’t turn it on (during) games. He really has a great work ethic.”
The deal is more of a formality than a surprise. Rose and general manager Gar Forman had indicated it would get done, and it was not hard to see why they wanted to stay together.
The Chicago product went from Rookie of the Year to All-Star to MVP in his first three seasons, becoming the youngest player to win that award. About the only thing he doesn’t have is a championship ring, and that’s what weighs on him as he enters his fourth season _ not the money.
“I think I live a humble life,” Rose said. “Of course, I know I’ll be able to afford whatever I want, but other than that, there aren’t too many things that excite me. Me winning is one of the things. Me being around my family, that’s another. Money, that’s the last thing I think about.”
The Bulls came close to winning it all last season, winning a league-high 62 games and advancing all the way to the Eastern Conference finals before losing to the Miami Heat.