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Wednesday July 12, 2006 6:44 pm
LeBron James Agrees To Three-Year Extension
People of Cleveland, take a deep breath and let it out. After about a week and a half of speculation, the King has spoken and LeBron James says he will be signing a three-year extension with a fourth year player option that will keep James with the Cleveland Cavaliers through the 2009-2010, and possibly the 2010-2011 season if James opts to come back another season. The extension takes effect after this upcoming 2006-2007 campaign.
James is expected to make $60 million for the three years. The Cavs offered James the maximum contract of five years for $80 million, but there were whispers that James want to see how much the team progresses before making such a long commitment. The Cavaliers made it into the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs before losing the series to the Detroit Pistons.
Fellow 2003 draftees Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat) and Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets) are now rumored to be thinking of taking the same tactic as James and eschewing their respective teams’ maximum contract offers and sign three year deals with a fourth year player option. It’s not often that players will reject longer contracts for more guaranteed money, but considering the star power of the three players, they will make up any “lost” money with various endorsements.
Many in Cleveland would have wanted James to sign a five-year extension, but it must come as some consolation that James agreed to a three-year deal after big-time rumors said that James was going to test the free-agent waters early and jump ship to a contender, most notably, the New Jersey Nets. James could have played out this season and followed his dreams of a ring as a restricted free agent. Considering that the Cavs would have in all likelihood matched any offer, it was possible to see James in another uniform for the 2009-2010 season.
I’m glad that James opted to come back and give the Cavs a legit chance for a championship in a championship-starved city. Plus, you couldn’t write it any better if James does in fact lead the team to the “promised land” - a hometown boy bringing a trophy back for his city. With even the faintest possibility of James leaving, hopefully the Cavs management is smart enough to surround James with whatever he needs to go deep into the playoffs. Otherwise, before you know it, the city of Cleveland will be witnessing the glory of the King from afar.
Read More | Yahoo! Sports - NBA
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