After a six week wait, LeBron James has resigned with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a 3 year $100 million dollar deal. This deal will allow James to become the highest paid player in the NBA this upcoming season for the first time in his career.
This has been a good year for LeBron James.
First, he signs a lifetime deal with Nike, then he defeats the best regular season team of all time, the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, coming back from down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, and now LeBron James has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a three-year $100 million dollar deal.
This deal, which has a player option after the second season, will make James the highest paid player in the league this season, which, surprisingly, is a first for LeBron.
The reasoning for James' not signing his deal earlier in the summer is not fully evident at this point, but now that he has signed, he is fully on board, trying to get his teammate JR Smith paid also.
The Cavaliers have an interesting cap situation now that James has re-signed. Without James' $33 million on the books, the Cavs had $86.7 million dollars on the books dedicated to team payroll next season, and with James, this number balloons out to nearly $120 million.
The number will only get bigger once JR Smith signs his deal.
The problem with the cap number? It puts the Cavs well into the luxury tax, which can inhibit their ability to sign free agents.
This was evident this summer as the Cavs only notable additions were Chris "Birdman" Andersen, who signed a one-year minimum deal, and Mike Dunleavy Jr., who was traded to the Cavs to make room for Dwyane Wade.
With LeBron James back in the picture, the Cavs offseason program can now begin to fully take shape. Once JR Smith signs, the team will be ready to start their title defense for the 2016-2017 season.
One interesting thing to note about James' new contract, his two-year opt out will put him on the free agent market again after the 2017-2018 season, which is the year that Dwyane Wade will be a free agent again, Carmelo Anthony could potentially be a free agent as well as Chris Paul.
Could this be the start of #TeamBananaBoat becoming a thing toward the end of their careers? We will have to wait and see, but for now, James will try to lead the Cavs to back-to-back titles.