LeBron James hasn’t yet confirmed the date when he shall re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. James continues to be a free agent for the third straight season.
After leading the Cavs to win the NBA title James seems to be in no hurry in signing a new contract with Cleveland. James’ delay is not at all related to J.R. Smith’s ongoing contract negotiation with the Cavs, points out Chris Haynes of the Cleveland.com.
James returned to Cleveland two years back. The franchise owns his Early Birds rights. That means the Cavs could pay the NBA Final’s MVP 175% of his previous salary with 7.5 % annual hike up to four years.
This summer, the teams have applied Early Bird rights to re-sign Marvin Williams (Hornets) and Lance Thomas (Knicks), as reported by the Sporting News. However, LeBron James won’t sign an Early Bird rights deal with the Cavaliers.
Firstly, an Early Bird right contract cannot be for a single season and the option years don’t count. This bars the legendary star to return to free agency next summer. Secondly, the five-year max contract is unavailable for Early Bird, so James gets a deal for lesser years.
James has moved past it by accruing time for Early Bird. If he returns to Cavs, he wants to sign a typical “1+1” structure of one season plus a player option which he used while returning to Cleveland in 2014. From the Cavs point of view, they will gain James’ Full Bird rights next summer, and can look forward to lock him on a true maximum deal.
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