After declining his $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season, LeBron James will officially become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. James is now eligible to sign a five-year supermax deal with the Cavaliers that would be worth $205 million over five seasons. It was a special moment for both James and the city of Cleveland.
Although James is leaving Cleveland again, Gilbert used the occasion to wish James well, opening his statement by recalling the night in 2016 when James led the Cavs to a Game 7 win in the NBA Finals over Golden State.
James was recently spotted in Los Angeles, heating up the speculation that he could sign with the Lakers.
When NBA free agency officially opens up Sunday at 12:01 a.m. ET, the Cleveland Cavaliers will not meet in person with LeBron James or his representatives, sources told ESPN.
In case you have been living under a rock for the last 10 years, LeBron James has been widely known as the best basketball player on the planet during that span.
"The one thing that I've always done is considered, obviously, my family", James said.
However, the 33 year-old superstar may make a decision which is not directly related to chasing championships.
For the second time in his career, James is saying goodbye to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted the teenage sensation from Akron in 2003 and have to be satisfied with winning just one title in the 11 years they had him. If the three-time champion decides to take his talents elsewhere, as he has in the past, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reports that the Cavaliers will try to keep most of their other key pieces on-board, including Kevin Love and Jeff Green.
James came back four years ago to a hero's welcome, something that seemed unimaginable when he left in disgrace four years earlier for Miami. He's letting James know in advance that he won't gain anything for his legacy if he went to the Lakers. And by coming to Philly, James believes he would have a great chance to play in his ninth consecutive NBA Finals. The 33-year-old had previously said he wanted to finish his career in OH, and although he's leaving again, Cavs fans are more forgiving after he ended the city's 52-year sport title drought in 2016.
The Lakers could take a conservative approach by signing James, and retaining Julius Randle, who is a restricted free agent. An NFL team can sign a star quarterback and still fall short of making the playoffs because he cannot throw the ball to himself, and he won't be on the field to play defence.