LeBron James reportedly signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which has some in the NBA commentariat scratching their heads. The deal is two years for $42.1 million with, curiously, an opt-out clause at the end of next season.
The fact that LeBron can opt out after a year reduces the turd-in-the-punchbowlitude of yesterday's post by MAYBE 3%: http://t.co/DQ3hxIeP6L— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) July 13, 2014
As David Sims noted yesterday, much of the league's offseason jockeying was dependent upon LeBron's decision. In the wake of his signing with Cleveland, Pau Gasol is reportedly set to leave Los Angeles for Chicago and Carmelo Anthony looks to be ready to sign with the New York Knicks. Chris Bosh will stay in Miami.
As for LeBron's oddly short contract, there seems to be a pretty good explanation for all of this. It involves a changing NBA salary cap and the flexibility to surround LeBron with some talent.
It looks like this is beneficial to both parties—it almost plays like a probationary period—and after winning back the heart of Cleveland it seems unfathomable that LeBron would turn heel again, but things could get dicey as early as next year with that opt out clause.
But...there's always a but. How's this for some impending free agency speculation:
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose are all Free Agents in 2016.— TheNBALegion™ (@TheNBALegion) July 13, 2014