According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, LeBron James will be signing a two-year, $42.1 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although LeBron has an option to become a free agent following the 2014-15 season, James penned in his letter to Sports Illustrated that he was fully committed to ending his career with Cleveland. LeBron’s goal is to re-sign with the Cavaliers before the end of the 2016-17 season.
The reasoning for LeBron signing just a two-year deal is because of the expected large jump in the value of the maximum when a new television contract will go into place. According to Windhorst, the value of the salary cap is projected to reach $80 million in 2016.
Although many will see the length of the deal and the option to become a free agent after next season and think negatively of it, it is purely a marketing decision made by his agents Rich Paul and Mark Termini. This decision will allow LeBron James to make as much money as he possibly can. LeBron is more mature at this point in his career, and he wouldn’t make the mistake of going back on something like helping Cleveland in their rebuilding process for the long term. James didn’t promise any championships, but the tone in his letter foreshadows that we will see LeBron retire as a Cavalier.
LeBron’s return is now official, so we can all take a deep breath.