CLEVELAND, Ohio — After making their pick in the 2018 NBA draft Thursday, the Cavaliers will “continue to have a good dialogue” with LeBron James as he considers whether or not to stay in Cleveland.
James has until June 29 to take the player option for the 2018-19 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. Teams can officially sign unrestricted free agents starting July 6.
On Thursday, the Cavs had the 8th overall draft pick, choosing Collin Sexton, one of the most dynamic guards in the country. Just moments after he was selected, Sexton made an appeal for James to re-sign with Cleveland, saying “I see you need a few extra pieces this past season, and let’s do it. Let’s go back to the Finals.”
Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman said no matter what happens now, James had a remarkable and historical season and has “earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does.”
“He gave his heart and soul, diehard energy, commitment to this team and his franchise, to the city, to Northeast Ohio,” said Altman. “We’re very, very fortunate to have him here, and what he gave to this franchise was nothing short of remarkable. We don’t take that for granted at all. I’m sure there will be a lot of questions about his status, and I won’t be able to say much more than the comments I made now. ”
Altman said the process is “nothing new for us.”
“We want to respect (LeBron’s) space during the process…and I continue to have a really good dialogue with his management team as he goes through that process,” said Altman.
Meanwhile, Altman says he’s incredibly excited about the energy and work ethic Sexton will bring to the franchise.
“What we’re trying to be about in Cleveland right now is guys with great attitude, great work ethic, and who really want to be here,” said Altman. “When I called him…he wanted to run here…that’s meaningful to us. That’s meaningful to the city.