LeBron James is a free agent, but he isn’t going anywhere. Teams have been contacting Rich Paul, James’ agent, who has been making it known his client is staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers, per ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Teams are still calling to check on the unsigned LeBron James, but I'm told agent Rich Paul politely informs them James is staying a Cav
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 5, 2016
This isn’t a shocking piece of news, but it is important. James had previously made it known before the team’s NBA Finals victory parade that he had “no plans to go nowhere” this summer.
Still, he did opt out of his contract, and he has made such claims before only to come to a different conclusion.
In reality, the only reason James opted out of his $24 million 2016-17 contract is because he will earn significantly more by doing a new deal with Cleveland. Even if he chooses to sign a one-year deal, it would be for $27.5 million. The reason it isn’t as much as some other free agents is that the Cavs don’t have full Bird rights.
Likely, James won’t do a huge long-term deal this summer. The NBA salary cap continues to rise, and it’s going up to $108 million next summer. Likely, James is looking at a one-year deal or a two-year deal with a player option as we’ve seen from stars like Kevin Durant, who agreed to a two-year deal worth $54.3 million.
There you have it. James isn’t going to leave his hometown. Not yet, anyway. Can the Cavs keep up with what Golden State did, signing Durant? It’s going to be fascinating to watch this all unfold next season.