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LeBron James opts out of final year of contract to become unrestricted free agent

by Scott Piker
by Scott Piker

The first of two decisions LeBron James has to make this summer has been made. The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will become an unrestricted free agent.

James had to make this decision by the end of the day today, June 29. LeBron will be the biggest name on the free agent market when teams can start talking to and announcing deals on Sunday, July 1. The first day that contracts can officially be signed on is Friday, July 6.

If LeBron would have decided to opt in to the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers, he would have made $35.6 million.

Where will LeBron continue his basketball career? It's likely down to just two teams, a return to the Cavaliers under a max contract or joining the Los Angeles Lakers if another superstar comes along like Paul George.

If LeBron decides to stay home, Cleveland can offer a five-year contract worth $205 million dollars. The Lakers can only offer a four-year contract. Either way, James will get paid this summer, as if he really needs the money.