LeBron opts out of Cavs deal, enters free agency

LeBron James of the Cavaliers has opted to become an unrestricted free agent.

As expected, LeBron James has declined the player option in his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent, his agent informed the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, league sources told Amico Hoops.

James had until 11:59 p.m. Friday to make the Cavs aware of whether he would exercise the option.

The decision to opt out means James is free to sign with another team, with the Cavs due no compensation. But it also means he can re-sign with the Cavs for more money than any other team can pay him — five years and a little more than $207 million.

If James were to sign elsewhere, the maximum he could received would be four years and $152 million, or just about $50 million less than the Cavs could pay him.

Still, there are rumors James may be looking to again leave the Cavs, as he did in 2010 for the Miami Heat. This time, Los Angeles is the most-cited potential destination other than Cleveland, with legendary team president Magic Johnson and the Lakers supposedly high on James’ list.

Sources told Amico Hoops on Friday that security cameras were being set up in front of James’ Los Angeles home that would allow police in Akron, Ohio, to also monitor that home.

It is a move to offer extra security, and according to one Akron police officer, James left for Miami the last time such a strategy was implemented.

James has never before declined the option in his contract, but that means little in terms of trying to determine where he may end up next.

The Cavs remain confident they are in the mix, and believe they may even be the frontrunners for James, sources told Amico Hoops earlier this week. They have appeared in the Finals four straight times, winning the championship in 2016.

Overall, James has appeared in the Finals eight straight times.

The Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers are other teams trying to lure James, though neither are considered as big of threats as the Lakers, who could potentially land another star (such as Oklahoma City Thuner forward Paul George) and have a strong tradition and the glitz of Hollywood.

James, 33, averaged 27.5 points in playing all 82 regular-season games last season. He set a career high with an average of 9.1 assists, and tied a career high with 8.6 rebounds per game. His scoring average increased to 34.0 points in the postseason.

3 Comments on "LeBron opts out of Cavs deal, enters free agency"

  1. hard to pass up 50 mil. also has luxury of getting pretty much anything he wants from Gilbert and front office. won’t be the same anywhere else. as far as l.a., can’t really see him putting up with lavar or wanting to hear”Kobe would have hit that shot or won that game. he’s a legend here at home,he should stay

    • That’s wishful thinking. I hope you are right. However, I think his mind has been made up since game 3. His ego can’t handle losing 8 of the last 9 playoff games to the Warriors. Especially after they may very well have lost to the Rockets if Paul had not been injured. That eats me up as a fan because they are NOT a dynasty. If not for the Kyrie, Andy and Love injuries in 2015, we would have back to back titles. Add the Paul injury, the Warriors would be 1-2 in the finals. That’s not a dynasty!

  2. It’s got to be LA or The Land… the other places don’t make any sense. But the team where Kawhi goes may have the edge. And Kawhi could come to Cleveland or Boston or LA, perhaps even a team not on the radar. If LA gets LeBron, PG13, and Kawhi, then that would be an exciting team. But as an East Coast guy, I can’t stay up late to watch those games. So for that alone, I hope the King stays in my time zone.

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