LeBron James reportedly plans to decline his $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season. Which was something that was seemingly known to happen.
Today this was first reported by Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon with the word of James’ decision, that will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.
Now heres the key, this does not guarantee, or tell us in anyway that LeBron James is either leaving or staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers. All this does is give 33-year-old LeBron the opportunity to explore all his options with any team.
In March, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers would be the only teams on his radar.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN noted the move helps the Lakers, but hurts the Rockets chances of landing James, and doesn’t disqualify the Cavaliers from the conversation.
LeBron James has informed the Cavs he won’t opt into his contract. This decision is favorable to the Lakers chances, hurts the Rockets chances and the Cavs remain firmly in mix.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 29, 2018
The New York Times‘ Marc Stein added San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich “is bound to try to force his way into the conversation to sell James on the merits of South Texas.”
Last week, OddsShark established the Lakers as the -325 favorites to sign James with the Cavaliers placing second at +325.
LeBron James’ agent informed the Cavs he will not exercise his $35.6 million option and thus will become an unrestricted free agent, sources told @clevelanddotcom … Story coming
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) June 29, 2018
Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has declined his $35.6M player option for 2018-19 and will enter free agency.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 29, 2018
Lately, the buzz through the NBA was that LeBron might be stuck between only Los Angeles and Cleveland.
A lot of speculation is waiting around Kawhi Leonard and what happens with his possible trade from the San Antonio Spurs, and with Paul George, who opted out of his Oklahoma City Thunder Contract.
After game 4 of the NBA Finals, LeBron had these finals words for the media regarding his situation:
“I have no idea at this point. The one thing that I’ve always done is consider my family, understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl right now that wasn’t around as well. So sitting down and considering everything—my family is a huge part of whatever I’ve decided to do in my career, and they’ll continue to be that. So I don’t have an answer for you right now as far as that.”