MANILA, Philippines – Could it be another Summer of LeBron?
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar forward LeBron James has opted out of the final year (worth $21.6 million) of a two-year agreement and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
ESPN reports that James is expected to remain with Cleveland, adding that the Cavs can offer him $22 million per year. James is reportedly expected to sign a one-year contract with a player option after the 2016-17 season, making him a free agent when the salary cap and maximum salaries increases.
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James, who returned last year to the team that drafted him after spending 4 seasons with the Miami Heat, also opted out of his contract with Miami last summer before announcing his return to Cleveland in a Sports Illustrated article.
The 30-year-old 4-time MVP joined Steph Curry as the only other unanimous choice for the All-NBA First Team, but averaged his lowest points per game (25.3) since his rookie season, while his .488% field goal percentage was the first time he had shot below 50% in a season since 2008-09.
Last week, James’ teammate Kevin Love opted out of his contract as well to become a free agent. Love had come to Cleveland last year with a returning James to join Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving to form a super team that was expected to challenge for the title off the bat.
James’ Cavs made it to the NBA Finals this season before losing to the Golden State Warriors in 6 games.
Cleveland executives will have a busy summer with J.R. Smith, James Jones, Kendrick Perkins, Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova also free agents this year. – Rappler.com