Key dates in LeBron James’ approaching free agency

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the second half against the Boston Celtics during Game Five of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden on May 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND– LeBron James can opt out of the last year of his contract with the Cavaliers and leave Cleveland for a second time.

The 33-year-old can decide where he plays next and that has Cavs fans (and much of the NBA) on the edge of their seats waiting for LeBron’s next move.

Here are a few key dates in NBA free agency:

June 21: NBA Draft

It’s quite the conundrum for teams. Who do you draft when your biggest star could be leaving? The Cavs have the No. 8 pick, which they acquired from the Nets.

June 25: NBA Awards

LeBron is up against James Harden and Anthony Davis for NBA MVP. He won the award in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

June 29: Last day for player options

James can take the player option for the 2018-2019 season. If he opts out, he would become an unrestricted free agent.

Cleveland can outbid any other suitor by offering him a five-year, max contract worth approximately $205 million.

July 1: Start of free agency

It’s officially the first day of the 2018-2019 season. Teams can start talking to LeBron and he can even verbally agree to terms.

On July 1, restricted free agents can sign their offer sheets and teams can begin signing rookie scale contracts, minimum salary contracts and two-way contracts.

It’s important to note that players don’t have to wait until this date to recruit others. So it’s safe to assume James will be fielding texts from other guys in the league way before the start of July. It’s a deep free agent class with big names like Paul George and Chris Paul.

July 6: Contracts can be signed

Teams can’t officially sign unrestricted free agents until July 6 at 12 p.m. ET, when the July moratorium ends.

LeBron revealed he was taking his talents to South Beach on July 8, 2010 and announced his return to Cleveland on July 11, 2014.

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