This isn’t about leaving Cleveland, this is all about money.
LeBron James has signed a two-year, $42.1 million deal with the Cavaliers, something first reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN. LeBron has an opt out after next season, should he want it. We had said in the run up to his decision that no matter where LeBron signed it would be a two-year deal.
This is about money down the line. Windhorst explains it well.
Depending on how the new television contracts are put together, the salary cap is projected to leap to as high as $80 million in 2016. There is also uncertainty with the current collective bargaining agreement starting in 2017, another reason James wanted to keep his long-term options open when it comes to the structure of his contract.
Max salaries are a percentage of the cap. For a player such as LeBron who has been in the league more than 10 years he can get up to 35 percent of the team’s cap space. This year that is $20,644,400, however 35 percent of $80 million is $28 million.
LeBron isn’t leaving Cleveland — after this move to return back home and saying publicly that is why he came back he could not leave again. He knows it.
But that doesn’t mean the man doesn’t want to get paid.