Details of LeBron James’ contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers emerged on Saturday, and they may surprise you a bit. While most of us assumed LeBron would sign a maximum four-year deal worth around $90 million, he has reportedly only committed to the Cavs for two years — at least on paper.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN reports that LeBron signed a two-year, $42.1 million contract with the Cavs. However, Windhorst noted that LeBron remains “fully committed to the Cavs long term.” The Decision 3.0 is unlikely to ever take place, as the goal of LeBron’s current contract is to allow him to get a max contract with the league’s next collective bargaining agreement. He also has a clause that allows him to opt out of the deal next year.
A new television contract is expected to result in a large increase in the NBA’s salary cap before the 2016-2017 season. When that happens, LeBron will only be 31 and can sign another max contract with Cleveland that will likely be worth significantly more than a max deal would be worth right now.
Of course, there is some risk involved on James’ end. He could (heaven forbid) suffer a career-ending injury this season. LeBron makes somewhere in the range of $40 million off the court each year, so he can afford to gamble a bit.
Although we would never rule out the possibility of LeBron causing the sports world to grind to a halt with another free agency decision in 2016, it doesn’t seem likely. James wrote in his essay that he wants to finish his career in Cleveland. Jumping around more will do nothing for his legacy. We’re guessing he’s back home to stay.Google+