LeBron James finally broke his free-agency silence last Thursday, announcing on Bleacher Report’s Uninterrupted that he re-signed with the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
The two sides agreed to a three-year, $100-million deal, which will, for the time being, make him the NBA’s highest-paid player.
“My hometown team, I can’t be more excited (for) this opportunity, once again, to defend our crown, defend our title,” said James. “We all know last year was magical, inspiring … all the words you could come up with, it was an unbelievable season. And I just can’t wait to get the group back together.” James made certain to remind everyone that one important member of that championship group remains unsigned. “Let’s get J.R. (Smith) done,” he said.
This is the third contract James has agreed to with the Cavs since returning to Cleveland, but it’s the first deal in which he’ll be locked in for more than one season. The first two deals he signed were one-and-ones, with player options after the first season. This deal comes with a player option in year three.
I normally believe that there’s NO PLAYER on God’s green earth worth $100M, but there’s numbers of value that will show that LeBron is actually worth more; yep, I said it…MORE.
James increased the value of the team since he was drafted in 2003. Dan Gilbert, the Cavaliers owner, paid $375 million for the team in 2005 (the value of the team was $298 at the time). When LeBron decided to “take his talents to South Beach ” in 2010, the value of the team dropped over $100M.
Since James been back for two years and led them to their first NBA championship, the team is valued at $1.1 BILLION! You do the math.
I’m sure Lebron’s agent (and childhood friend) Rich Paul negotiated for a new contract, he brought these figures up and insisted that his client would not take anything les than a max deal.
I would have told Gilbert “you know what LeBron Raymone James is worth for your franchise and we need to see $500M on the table.” Gilbert eyes were probably wide open and stated that he doesn’t have that kind of money freed up at this time; and that’s where I would’ve said “fine, give me what’s ever left over in your pocket.” and that’s where $100M came from.
Maybe it is just that simple.