1. Making sure the King stays home
LeBron James will likely opt out of his contract later this summer–so get ready for it.
LeBron’s signed one-and-one deals with Cleveland ever since he returned in the summer of 2014. This means he is only under contract for one year, although he could pick up his player option for the next year if he chose to.
With the salary cap continuously, on the rise, this method gives James maximum financial power. He earned $22.9 million this season. By simply doing some paperwork, he stands to make $30 million next season.
By signing these one-and-one deals, James also has the power to hold Dan Gilbert’s feet to the fire. If the Cavs get complacent, LeBron can just opt out. But after winning a title, it’s not likely James is going anywhere.
The luxury tax threshold will be $113 million next season, and Dan Gilbert will happily pay into it as the Cavs look to win back-to-back titles.
Could LeBron actually leave Cleveland after winning the championship. Sure, it could happen, but come on. Staying in the East is wise because he’ still one of the most dominant players in the NBA–and the East is what it is: a weak conference. LeBron can continue getting back to the Finals with the Cavs while James is still an elite player over the next three to four years.
No matter what LeBron wants, the Cavs will gladly give it to him. Whether that be another one-year deal, or a five-year maximum contract. Perhaps he waits until next summer to ink a deal when the cap is expected to hit $108 million.
Making sure LeBron comes back, is the first key in the offseason though. Despite some rumors that he may look elsewhere, don’t look for LeBron to go anywhere. He will be right back at “The Q” next season.
Next: Trade Kevin Love