James signs two-year deal with Cavaliers: report
July 14, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
NEW YORK/CHICAGO -- LeBron James finalized a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday with an eye towards maximizing his future salary once new TV contracts push NBA payroll limits higher, ESPN reported.
The U.S.-based sports network's website reported that James inked a two-season deal worth only US$42.1 million that would give him an option to become a free agent next year.
The Cavaliers confirmed the signing Saturday but refused to give any details about the contract's length or amount.
On Friday, James announced he would leave the Miami Heat, whom he led to two NBA crowns and four trips to the NBA Finals, and return to Cleveland, the team he spurned four years ago to join Miami in search of a first-ever championship.
Having solidified his place as the best player in the NBA, James said in an essay in Sports Illustrated that he wants to come home and accept the challenge of turning his home-region club into a champion.
No Cleveland sports team has won a major league crown since the Cleveland Browns captured the National Football League title half a century ago.
Under the plan, James would re-sign with the Cavaliers before the 2016-2017 season, when new TV deals are expected to create a huge leap in the maximum possible contract for a player.
James could avoid locking himself into what in time is expected to be a less valuable deal.
Although there is short-term risk should TV riches not come as expected, James' skills and homecoming have created huge interest across the United States and figure to boost viewership as his undertakes his quest to make the Cavaliers a champion.