When the NBA’s best player, forward LeBron James, decided to leave the Miami Heat in a favor of a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he left in 2010, the move was mostly praised. However, once it was announced James would only be signing a two-year deal with the Cavaliers, it raised several questions.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, James’ decision to sign a short-term deal isn’t about keeping his options open and potentially leaving Cleveland again (unless something disastrous happens), it is all about making the most money possible.
While the conspiracy theorists want to make a big deal out of James’ decision to sign a short-term deal, what he has done is given himself repeated options to cash in. More importantly, it ensures the power stays on his side of the equation.
The plan for James is to re-sign as frequently as possible and stay on the top end of his earning potential. This was discussed with the Cavaliers and they are fully on board, so discussing James as a free agent next year is unrealistic unless things go massively bad.
James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 56.7% from the field, 37.9% from three and 75.0% from the charity stripe last season. In James’ historic 11-year career, he’s put up 27.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 49.7% from the floor, 34.1% from beyond the arc and 74.7% from the free throw line.
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