LeBron James finalizes contract with Cavs

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Cleveland, Ohio — LeBron James intends to stay in Cleveland long-term, but his contract, according to ESPN, is a short-term deal with the Cavs.

ESPN reports that James signed a two-year, $42.1 million deal with the goal of re-signing with Cleveland before the 2016-2017 season, when a new television deal is expected to make the maximum contract bigger than it currently is.

As part of the deal, James can option out of the contract next summer, but according to the report, citing sources, he is fully committed to the Cavs long-term.

The salary cap is projected to leap to as high as $80 million in 2016, James has earned $129 million over his 11-year career but has only earned the max salary three times during that span.

LeBron announced on Friday that he was returning to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers after leaving town in 2010 to play in Miami with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

General Manager David Griffin made a statement in a release Saturday night:

“We could not be happier to welcome LeBron James home. Yesterday, LeBron, through his essay, told us he wasn’t going anywhere except Cleveland and that ‘Cleveland is where he always believed he would finish his career.’ These words and commitment put all of us, including LeBron, in the best position to build our franchise the right way and achieve the kind of goals we all know are possible. Expectations will be at the highest levels but no one should expect immediate and automatic success.

LeBron’s motivation to return home is clearly fueled by the kind of emotions and ideals that we can and should embrace. The contract and those details are secondary to his commitment to Northeast Ohio and the Cavaliers. It extends well beyond the boundaries of basketball and speak to his love and passion for his family, home, and our fans. He communicated his role and growth as a husband, father, teammate, community leader, and business person. This resonated in a special and personal way for all of us. LeBron put it well when he stated; ‘In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned.’ We can’t wait to get started and look forward to his leadership, on and off the court, for many years to come.”

The Cavs would not discuss specific terms of the contract with Fox 8, as per league policy.

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