LeBron James made it official Saturday (July 12), as he finalized his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A source tells ESPN that the NBA superstar signed a two-year, $42.1 million deal with the goal of re-signing with the Cavs before the 2016-17 season when a new television deal is expected to create a large jump in value of the maximum contract.
Although the deal includes a player option that would allow him to become a free agent next summer, the source says James is committed to the Cavs long term.
In 2016, the salary cap is projected to leap to as high as $80 million in 2016. However this is still an uncertainty, as the current collective bargaining agreement starts in 2017. It’s another reason James wanted to keep his long-term options open when it coms to his contract.
The Cavs officially announced that James had signed to the team on Saturday, but did not disclose the terms of the deal.
“We could not be happier to welcome LeBron James home,” Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said in a statement Saturday. “Yesterday, LeBron, through his essay, told us he wasn’t going anywhere except Cleveland and that ‘Cleveland is where he always believed he would finish his career.’ These words and commitment put all of us, including LeBron, in the best position to build our franchise the right way and achieve the kind of goals we all know are possible. Expectations will be at the highest levels but no one should expect immediate and automatic success.
“We can’t wait to get started and look forward to his leadership, on and off the court, for many years to come.”