If LeBron James uses his right to opt out of his current contract following the 2017-18 NBA season, then we know teams will line up for his services.
As of this writing, the latest rumor on this topic is that King James has narrowed it down to four teams that he’d be willing to sign with this summer (more on that here).
Of course, one of those teams is the Cleveland Cavaliers, and some believe the team’s moves at the trade deadline will keep him in his hometown. Here’s another reason James could decide to stay in Cleveland after opting out: No other team can offer him the kind of financial package the Cavs can.
According to ESPN’s Buccigross, the Cavaliers will have the opportunity to offer him more money than any player has taken home in Association history.
The Cavs will be able to offer LeBron James a projected max contract of 5 years, $205M this summer; all other teams can offer 4 years, $152M. Cavs at Lakers 9pm tonight on @espn pic.twitter.com/C0X1h1nOMm
— Bucci Mane (@Buccigross) March 11, 2018
At this time, Stephen Curry has the richest deal in NBA history after inking a five-year deal worth $201 million. Obviously, $205 million is more than that. And it would be hard to argue that, if Curry is worth $201 million, James isn’t worth just a bit more.
After all, James, at the age of 33, is already a 14-time All-Star who has been to the NBA Finals six seasons in a row, and by all appearances he’s about to make it seven. He’s the best two-way player we’ve seen in the NBA in a generation, and he’s still the best facilitator the league has to offer.
Fans in Cleveland should not lose hope if James ultimately does opt out. Because he’s going to have millions of reasons to stay close to home, and there’s no better way to add to his legacy than to continue helping his hometown team win titles.