Report: James opts out of contract with Cavaliers

(SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James has opted out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will become a free agent on July 1, according to an ESPN report.

 

After his first season back in Cleveland, James is declining the $21.6 million player option for next season on his deal.

 

After the 2015-16 season, the salary cap and value for a maximum contract are expected to rise with an influx of revenue thanks to the league's new television contract with ESPN and Turner Sports.

The 30-year-old star averaged 25.3 points, 7.4 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game in his return to the Cavaliers after four seasons with the Miami Heat. James led the Cavs to their second NBA Finals appearance in team history and averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists in Cleveland's six-game loss to the Golden State Warriors.

In his 12-year career to date with Cleveland and Miami, James has averaged 27.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. The four-time NBA MVP has been named to 11 All-Star teams, won two championships with the Heat and two gold medals with the US Men's Basketball team in the Olympics.

 

Last week, it was reported that Kevin Love also would be opting out of his player option for 2015-16 with the Cavs. In his first year in Cleveland following a blockbuster trade from Minnesota, Love averaged 16.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He played in just four playoff games before a shoulder injury ended his season.

 

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