By Possibly Leaving Money On The Table, LeBron James May Set Himself Up for Historical Contract
The unanimous finals MVP declared right then and there that he fully intends to make a return and defend the title in Cleveland. All that’s left is for Rich Paul and Mark Termini to iron out the contract details.
That takes us to the tricky part. As discussed by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, LeBron James could see himself taking a step back in order to make a giant leap forward in terms of the money he’ll be getting.
James has the option to sign a one-year deal with the Cavs for $27.5 million for next season, which is about $3.3 million less than he could get were he to sign a multiyear deal in which the first year would be worth $30.8 million. Under league rules, the Cavs aren’t able to give him the full max next season on a one-year contract.
There is a reason why James and his representatives might be willing to make this investment. Next July, the Cavs would gain James’ full rights, putting Cleveland in a position to offer James a five-year deal that currently is projected to be worth between $201 million and $205 million, depending on various models NBA teams are using for revenue growth.
If all projections don’t go far off according to plan, a contract like no other is bound for the four-time MVP which will then make him the highest paid player in NBA history.