The Reality of King James’ Latest Move
It was made official today that LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, this move is nothing to be feared by Cavs fans this time opposed to back in 2010 when he ultimately left to join the Miami Heat.
Before the decision by James to opt out was made public, news broke of Kevin Love opting out of his contract with Cleveland as well. While it is expected that Love will test the market, it is also known that Love intends to return to Cleveland. The decision by James to opt out was inevitable, as Cleveland may be preparing to stick to their original plan and offer Love a maximum deal of up to 110 million over several years according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Prior to Kevin Love opting out of his contract, J.R. Smith made it known that he was too opting out of his contract, but with the intent of resigning with Cleveland. Iman Shumpert, Smith’s former teammate on the New York Knicks is also a restricted free agent, likely looking to remain with Cleveland as well. LeBron James opting out is a necessary move in order to give Cleveland an idea of what will be available for others such as Shumpert and Smith.
One of the most important off season move for the Cleveland Cavaliers will be constructing a deal to orchestrate the return of break out big man Tristan Thompson. Thompson proved his worth to the club after a magnificent year and even more spectacular playoff performance. Thompson’s potential deal is expected to be a minimum of 12–13 million.
It is expected that LeBron James will unquestionably remain in Cleveland for the upcoming season. It is very well known that a new television deal that begins before the start of the 2016–17 NBA season, granting teams more money for a higher salary cap as well as higher max contracts. The expected salary for LeBron James is the one year max deal of approximately 22 million, which he plans on increasing when the cap boost from the television deal is upon us. James’ agent Rich Paul has made it known that the days of LeBron accepting anything less than a max contract are over and finished; in order to retain the services of the world’s greatest player, it is incontrovertible that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be giving James the max contract.
The decision to opt out by James also is a warning of sorts, to keep the Cavalier front office on their toes and making smart decisions, such as taking the King’s ability to leave again for granted. James opting out of his contract forces the general manger and owner Dan Gilbert to make the right off season moves to better position the team and James for success in the upcoming season. There have been more than signs that James may or may not approve of head coach David Blatt, and the opt out of James may pressure the front office to make a move regarding Blatt should the opt out linger longer than expected. James is in control, and the moves the Cleveland front office makes and how quickly they make them will demonstrate how much control LeBron James truly has.