To the surprise of no one, LeBron James will re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The superstar announced the news on Thursday in one of his "Uninterrupted" videos, telling fans that he can't wait to defend the Cavaliers' 2016 NBA title.
James' new contract is for three years and $100 million, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst. His starting salary of $33 million next year will be the highest single-season salary in league history. Sounds about right for the all-time great who made good on his promise to deliver Cleveland a championship.
"I just wanted to let you all know, man, I'm re-signing back with the Cleveland Cavaliers," James said in the video. "My hometown team. I can't be more excited. And this opportunity once again, man, to defend our crown, defend our title -- we all know last year was a magical, inspiring, all the words you can come up with, man, it was an unbelievable season.
"I just can't wait to get the group back together, man," he continued. "The team, the franchise, but more importantly get everybody together. The fans. Without you guys, without y'all passion and commitment, man, we wouldn't have been able to do what we did this past season. So I'm ecstatic. I can't wait to see my guys. I can't wait to get back out there in the wine and gold, man, and just get the band back together. And last, you know what I'm saying, let's get J.R. done. It's that time."
LeBron James is happy
LeBron James is happy about his new deal. Uninterrupted
That last part refers to Cavs guard J.R. Smith, who is still a free agent. Smith and the Cavaliers have been in a stalemate for more than a month -- both he and general manager David Griffin have said publicly that they would like to work out a new deal, but they have not been able to come to terms on an agreement. Smith, of course, is represented by Klutch Sports, which also represents James. So, yes, James used his video platform to urge his team to re-sign a player from his agency.
Last summer, a similar situation unfolded. James re-signed in Cleveland, but teammate and fellow Klutch Sports client Tristan Thompson remained a free agent all the way until the preseason. In October, James publicly urged the Cavs to get a deal done in an Instagram caption. He clearly does not want Smith's negotiations to drag on like Thompson's did.