The best player in the NBA should also be the highest paid one. It appears that might finally be happening. LeBron James is signing a $100 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as reported by Cavaliers Nation. It is a three year deal that puts him on the same level as two of the greatest to have played in the National Basketball Association.
LeBron James has been in favor of signing what is essentially a one-year contract since leaving the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a smart business move because it enabled him to take advantage of the rising NBA salary cap.
When free agency started this summer, LeBron James was the biggest name on the market. Of course, NBA rumors were not centered around the 6-foot-8 small forward because everyone was under the belief that he was eventually going to sign a contract to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Earlier today, LeBron James announced that he had indeed agreed to a new contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The only surprising thing was the length of the deal. Many in the NBA expected James to sign another two-year contract with the second year being a player option. Instead, he signed a three-year deal with the third year being a player option.
For this upcoming NBA season, LeBron James is scheduled to make $30.9 million. That makes him the highest-paid player in the league. Being the star of the reigning champions, very few should have issues with James holding that distinction.
In 2017, LeBron James will receive a raise. The Cleveland Cavaliers will be paying him $33 million, which is more than any NBA player has ever been paid for a season. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are the only other two players to exceed the $30 million mark.
Interestingly enough, Mike Conley will be joining that elite group when he gets a massive raise next season, as reported by Sports Illustrated. While many will be critical of the Memphis Grizzlies point guard, especially since he has never been an NBA All Star, Conley is simply taking advantage of the record-breaking rise in the salary cap.
Signing a three-year contract removes some headaches from LeBron James in the near future. The collective bargaining agreement in the NBA is set to expire soon, and the two sides might be headed towards quite a battle with the league generating more revenue than ever.
LeBron James is the first vice president of the NBA Players Association, which means that he will be in the trenches when the collective bargaining agreement is renegotiated. With James under contract, he can simply focus on doing what is best for his peers.
In the third year of the contract, LeBron James can make $35.6 million for the season. However, if the collective bargaining agreement proves to be more lucrative than now, the 260-pound small forward can then opt out of his current deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers to command an even higher salary.
With close friend JR Smith being a free agent, the belief was that LeBron James was going to wait to sign his contract until after the Cleveland Cavaliers had locked down their shooting guard. Smith remains a free agent, and his future in the NBA is actually up in the air.
Now that LeBron James has been secured with a three-year deal, the Cleveland Cavaliers can start focusing on defending the NBA championship. There’s a tough road ahead of them, as the Golden State Warriors have now added Kevin Durant. That is going to make it much harder for the Cavaliers to hold another championship parade.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]