Jul 9, 2015 2:03 PM by Ross Field
By Matt Moore | NBA writer
LeBron James is always going to keep his options open. That's what his power and station in the NBA world has afforded him. He'll have every option in the world next summer, as he will every year he desires to have them.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms an ESPN report that LeBron James and the Cavaliers have agreed to terms on a contract for the former MVP and franchise icon to re-sign with his hometown team for the second year in a row. That's not news, we've known that forever. What's interesting is that James is reportedly signing another two-year deal with the Cavs with an opt-out after next season, making him a free agent again next summer. The deal is two years, $47 million with James making $23 million next season and $24 million the year after if he decides to opt-in. (Hint: He won't.)
This has a few ripple effects. James can keep increasing his pay structure by signing under the new cap structure inflated by the TV media deal next summer. It puts pressure on the Cavs to remain competitive and go all out no matter what in order to keep him happy. It gives the Cavs a little flexibility in free agency because even though James' cap hold restricts their free agency, it allows them to maneuver around the cap with his bird rights in case they want to keep Timofey Mozgov or make other moves. It's all about maximizing value and keeping his ability to make the most money, have the most freedom, and build the best team on the table. It's smart business, a decision with little concern over security, because at this point in his career, James could suffer two serious injury (God forbid) and still earn max contract status. When you've hit that level, you have some real power.
At this point in time, there's absolutely every reason to suspect that James will re-sign with the Cavs next year. He seems very intent on retiring with the Cavs this time around and never leaving Northeast Ohio again. However, if the situation were to sour, for any reason, James still has that opt out. That's not the reason he took this deal, but it does mean that at least technically, James will be in play as a free agent next summer. Rest easy, Cavs fans, he's not going anywhere, but LeBron James is not going to be sacrificing his own flexibility or power advantage any time soon.
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