Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

LeBron James declining player option, will become unrestricted free agent

LeBron James declining player option, will become unrestricted free agent

With so many bad contracts, Houston needed Cleveland to take a few off their books to retain Chris Paul while signing James.

Teams in the National Basketball Association can negotiate with free agents at midnight Sunday and the moratorium before they can sign new contracts ends July 6. Assuming he's looking to sign for his max salary - and he hasn't indicated otherwise - James' options are now limited to either re-signing with the Cavs or joining a team with enough cap space to sign him to such deal.

As ESPN points out, he could very well re-sign with the team for a one-plus-one deal, giving him the option of free agency again next year in the summer. Even that was a remote possibility.

The Los Angeles Lakers will have to find ways to shed salary this offseason if they are in a position to sign LeBron James and potentially another star player, but it does not sound like filling out their bench would be an issue in that scenario. Vardon also reported that James' agent Rich Paul notified Cleveland of his decision Friday morning.

James, who resigned with the Cavaliers in 2014 after four years with the Miami Heat, has brought the Cavaliers to four consecutive finals where he has won one championship.

LeBron James Rumors: Cavaliers Star Already Knows Where He's Going
As arguably the top two players in the National Basketball Association , it's hard to fathom James and Durant joining forces.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James watched during Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., on June 3. The Sixers could very well have kept chugging along in the NBA's middle class, unable to do much of anything except exist as first-round fodder for the league's elite. The Cavaliers selected both while hoping LeBron James would return.

James told the Cleveland Cavaliers that he is not exercising his $35.6 million contract option for next season and will hit the free-agent market, two people familiar with the decision told the Associated Press.

The move is a serious blow to the Houston Rockets' chances of landing James and thus, a slight advantage for the Los Angeles Lakers. Any other suitor can offer a four-year pact worth $152 million.

I know what you're thinking: If you can't trust Stephen A., who can you trust? There is mounting pressure on Lakers president Magic Johnson (lower right) and general manager Rob Pelinka to land a top talent in a trade to hopefully pair with James, according to ESPN.

LA Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discusses the recent protests enveloping the National Football League, but said that the NBA rules are clear: Players must stand during the anthem, and if they don't, there could be consequences.

Like this: