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LeBron James Signs With Cavs

8:07pm: The Cavaliers have made the signing official in a team release. “We could not be happier to welcome LeBron James home,” Cleveland GM David Griffin said in the accompanying statement. “Yesterday, LeBron, through his essay, told us he wasn’t going anywhere except Cleveland and that ‘Cleveland is where he always believed he would finish his career.’ These words and commitment put all of us, including LeBron, in the best position to build our franchise the right way and achieve the kind of goals we all know are possible. Expectations will be at the highest levels but no one should expect immediate and automatic success.”

SATURDAY, 5:12pm: James’ contract with the Cavs has been finalized, sources tell Brian Windhorst of It’s a two-year, $42.1MM deal with a player option for the second season. While the deal doesn’t lock James in for the long term run he vowed to fulfill in his announcement, it is designed with an eye toward expected jumps in league revenue and increased earning potential for the game’s best player. Renewed TV deals and an opportunity for the player’s union to renegotiate the CBA in the coming years could lead to significantly higher max contract values. James, who had never been the highest paid player on his own team before signing this time with Cleveland, will look to cash in if those opportunities materialize.

FRIDAY, 11:20am: LeBron James has made his decision, and he’ll sign with the Cavaliers, as he tells Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins.

NBA: Finals-Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs“Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio,” the Akron native writes in the first paragraph of his as-told-to cover story in Sports Illustrated. “It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”

James said his primary reason for leaving the Heat after four years, four NBA Finals appearances, and two championships isn’t because he didn’t have faith that the front office could put the right team together, but that he wants to bring a title to Cleveland. He always believed he’d return to finish his career in Cleveland, but he just didn’t know when he would come back, he writes. The reaction of owner Dan Gilbert and fans in Cleveland to his 2010 departure for Miami weighed on him, but he said he’s talked the matter out with Gilbert “face-to-face, man-to-man.”

Presumably, it’ll be a max contract worth $20.6444MM in the first season for the four-time MVP, who won his first two such trophies with the Cavs, for whom he played from 2003-10. The Cavs aggressively sought the cap flexibility necessary to create max room, completing a three-team trade with the Nets and Celtics on Thursday that gave them the ability to open cap space for James.

Agent Rich Paul took meetings with the Cavs, Mavs, Suns and Lakers last week while the Heat were the only team with whom James met personally. Paul, who was also in that Heat meeting, was reportedly determined to get his client to return to Cleveland. Heat owner Micky Arison took to Twitter to express that he’s “shocked and disappointed” by the news but thanked James for the memories and wrote that he’d never forget what James brought to the Heat the past four seasons. It’s a far cry from Gilbert’s sharply worded response in 2010, which reportedly had been on James’ mind in the hours leading up to this year’s choice.

The move opens the gates to a number of other decisions around the league, with the free agency of Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, the fate of trade candidate Kevin Love, and a slew of other important matters still unresolved. The Cavs have reportedly been set to pursue Love contingent on their acquisition of James, though they appear unwilling to give up No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins to facilitate such a deal.

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54 thoughts on “LeBron James Signs With Cavs

  1. frogbogg

    Thanks for the titles!

  2. Nick Butler

    Miami just lost most of their fan base. On a serious note East is up for grabs with Cleveland, Indiana, Toronto, Brooklyn, Chicago favorites now

    • schaddy24

      If Kevin Love gets traded to CLE, my bet is Bulls vs. Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. Things just got a lot more interesting.

      • Trock

        I am calling that too. Still up in the air on where Melo will go and from the sounds of it he may be thinking Chicago.

      • Nick Butler

        Bulls are hard to predict due to what they do to in free agency and rose’s health

    • Brooklyn? lol.

      • Nick Butler

        Its a stretch I know depends on if they bring everyone back. I think Hollins makes them better too.

        • I would think that if Lopez comes back healthy, then yeah, they have a shot. Otherwise, KG, Pierce, and Joe Johnson are all a year older, and those three and Deron Williams are all declining.

          • Nick Butler

            All true, I think once the main free agents pick their teams then we can get a better idea who might be contenders

  3. Miami 2014-2015 Starting lineup:
    PG: Shabbazz Napier
    SG: 8th Grade Church League Free Throw Competition Winner
    SF: Danny Granger in a wheelchair
    PF: Josh McBob
    C: Mark Madsen

    • Steve Adams

      Anything that gets Mad Dog back on the court is a win for the game of basketball and its fans around the world.

  4. Adam Gingrich

    so what does Miami do? panic and trade for Larry Sanders or Roy Hibbert?

  5. Manchershaw Engineer

    With no chance of James in New York, Melo is likely to choose between LA and Chicago in the next 24 hours.

  6. Resneps2340

    I think we should see what else Cleveland does with the rest of the roster before anointing them the favorites out east. LeBron himself makes them contenders no question but I’d be concerned about the lack of floor spacing on that team. If they add Kevin Love, he and Kyrie would be a good first step to open up space for LBJ.

    • Trock

      I dont think we will see an issue with floor space. Run the ball through Irving like a team should (through the PG) with Lebron being on the floor, it will open up space for Irving. Once they realize that they need to guard him better and they can’t double up on Lebron anymore, it will definitely open it up for him. Wiggins should translate well to the NBA. But I think you are right – if Love comes to Cleveland…Boy that would be a nasty line up. I also see Ray Allen and Mike miller coming over as great role players for this team (although I am not sure of Clevelands cap space and if they can make all that happen).

      • Resneps2340

        I’m thinking Wiggins is gone if they want Love. I think Ray Allen could likely be had for the minimum as long as he wants to win.

  7. I’m kind of tired of Cleveland already. 3 out of the last 4 # one picks and now LBJ. Plus all the Dan Gilbert Crazy. Idk just seems like if they win it now it will be tainted.

    • Tribe82

      How would it be tainted? Because the Cavs were able to put themselves in a good position for the draft each year and because they just made one tremendous FA signing? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? Build through the draft, fill the void with a FA when needed?

  8. BrickTops

    In my humble opinion, this is fantastic news for the NBA. Instead of the West vs. Miami every year, 5 or 6 teams can now possibly come out of the East. Plus my Rockets will have a starting 5 of
    SG – Harden
    SF – Parsons
    PF – Bosh
    C – Howard.

    That is filthy!

    • Still can’t win the west

  9. Z....

    Well, its the end of an era. All I can say is that its his decision, and I respect it. I’m thankful for 4 years of amazing basketball. Unlike certain people, we will show class in this moment. I said before the offseason, that no matter what happens, I will not blame these guys for leaving if it comes to that. Obviously, its tough. It’s worse b/c of the disgusting media that are probably having a party right now. Thats fine. Dan Gilbert should not be allowed to take any credit whatsoever for this, and he should not be allowed to celebrate ANYTHING. You are incredibly LUCKY (the ridiculous luck that played into getting the draft picks), which makes sense b/c as I’ve said for a while after now understanding it, douchebags (not just referring to the letter) have good things happen to them. You are incredibly lucky that someone with the character of LeBron James, from Akron, Ohio, is able to be manipulated by his wife, his agent, and his friends. You are lucky that someone with great character put ridiculous blame on himself for something that wasnt his fault, and he shouldnt feel like he has to correct it, especially with the reactions of those people over the last 4 years. I wish LeBron James personal success, but this isnt over. Lets see if LeBron can turn the lazy Cleveland Cavaliers into anything. They dont play defense. There is still more the Miami Heat can do, and if they dont, then just be appreciative of the past 11 years, where we’ve
    had a chance to see Dwyane Wade play every night.

    • Guest

      Spoken like a true bitter Miami “fan”

      • Z....

        rofl w/e yo…I’ve lived down here my whole life, and I’ve been a very big sports fan for the entirety of my stay on this planet. I’ve spoken about the south florida sports fan being the worst fans in sports for my entire life as well. I stick by my team, regardless of what happens. I’m not bitter at all. I wish him personal success, as I mentioned a few times now. I’m just saying that every single “Cavalier fan” celebrating are the biggest hypocrites on the planet, and Dan Gilbert is trash for everything he has done in the last 4 years, not just the letter. When I realized it was a possibility that LeBron would come down here 4 years ago, I thought we didnt deserve it, and I felt bad for Cleveland. Then I saw their reaction

        • Guest

          The funny part is the Cavs packed the arena the last four years, I saw empty seats in your arena during the NBA Finals.

          • Z....

            again…not surprising to me. Unfortunately, I saved money for 4 months to try to go to an NBA finals game, partly in preparation for this, and I ended up not being able to afford to go. Nobody seems to talk about the fact that in Indiana, they didnt start showing up to that arena until this past season. Make all the jokes you want. You look ridiculous

          • frogbogg

            I call BS.

            link to

            23rd in the league in percentage filled last year with 84.3%.

            Miami in 2009, preLebron:

            link to

            93%??????? How can this be???

            Time to jump back on the LeBron bandwagon like the other 13% that disappeared.

    • Randolph_Knackstedt

      When James plays in Miami, they’ll boo him every time he touches the ball. He won’t deserve to be booed, but that’s just how it is. Many fans might look at James as the one that broke up “their” team and shot down any chance of contention. The fans will get pissed and act like James is no good. Sad. I hope I’m wrong. It’d be nice (even though he’s now a rival) to NOT turn on him for returning back to Cleveland. Being disappointed is one thing, but bashing him would be uncalled for imo.

      • Z....

        I would probably have to bet that they will be dumb about it. I know these people well enough, unfortunately. If that doesnt happen, I will be pleasantly surprised

  10. Guest

    If you’re not passionate as a sports fan….then maybe you shouldn’t watch sports. At the end of the day, weare all human and we make mistakes. The bigger picture is can you forgive thatperson and mend that relationship? LeBron and Gilbert did it and the TRUE CAVSfans did it. Everything else is irrelevant!!!! #CavsNation #AllForOne #WelcomeHomeBron

    • TheCrippler

      Meant to hit Edit and hit delete by mistake….sorry for the double post

  11. TheCrippler

    If you’re not passionate as a sports fan….then maybe you shouldn’t watch sports. At the end of the day, we are all human and we make mistakes. The bigger picture is can you forgive that person and mend that relationship? LeBron and Gilbert did it and the TRUE CAVS fans did it. Everything else is irrelevant!!!! #CavsNation #AllForOne #WelcomeHomeBron.

    • Z....

      out of curiosity, were you one of the people that spouted hate about LeBron over the last 4 years?

      • TheCrippler

        I admit that I was upset in 2010, not because he left Cleveland but how he did it, but I got over it….it was a business decision made by James….in the end it’s just a game.

        • Z....

          I just felt like the whole “how he did it” thing was overblown. That tv special raised a lot of money for children…I respect that though. Also, nice name and awesome moniker. I have that same picture on my desktop lol

          • Justin Melendez

            that tv special was an out right attack on a whole city and I think espn and LeBron should split the responsibility for that. it was shitty and LeBron admitted it. as fans we can boo and jeer all we want as long as it’s not about his family or things like that, it doesn’t mean we can’t welcome him back and we will.

          • Z....

            I dont see how it was an outright attack on the whole city, but thats your opinion, and its fine. I heard plenty about him as a person and his family, but as I said, the people that didnt stoop to that level absolutely deserve to celebrate, especially if he brings a championship there. That city does deserve it after all of the things that have happened to them over the decades…you cant deny though, that Dan Gilbert is scum, and its a joke that he never publicly apologized and only just recently removed that ridiculous letter from the website

          • Justin Melendez

            well the entire first half of that thing was espn showing every failure in Cleveland sports and shitting on the city. now I don’t blame LeBron for that, he did request that show so like I said they share blame. dan gilbert scum, no. really stupid and childish, yeah.. as for the fans don’t buy that shit that a whole bunch of fans burn jerseys and cursed him because it’s not true man trust me. most people, men women and children cried. and after Miami won their first one with LeBron most cavs fans really got over it. I was there when he was cheered and got a standing ovation. as for that letter, I agree it was ridiculous and very uncalled for.

      • Guest


  12. J Hill

    2 years? Doesn’t that kind of mean he can’t resign in Cleveland for a max deal after 2 years?

    • Z....

      it means that after he finds out that Kyrie Irving doesnt play defense and is more injury prone than Wade, he can join Kevin Durant somewhere…or he could simply sign a max contract of 5 years at that point, which would be more than a 4 year max he can currently sign

      • J Hill

        He’s really not more injury prone than D Wade.

        • Z....

          it was a joke, but he has been injured A LOT. Wade obviously regrets removing his meniscus in college. Back then, the info we have now about that wasnt known

    • HoopsRumors

      No, Early Bird rights call for a starting salary worth up to 175% of the player’s previous salary, or the player’s maximum salary, whichever is cheaper. So LeBron could get the max in that scenario, barring a ridiculous jump in the value of the max, which even the enhanced TV revenue wouldn’t bring.

      If he opts out, the Cavs can use Non-Bird rights to sign him to a starting salary worth up to 120% of his previous salary, or his maximum salary, whichever is cheaper. Next year’s max almost certainly won’t jump that high, either, so LeBron will be eligible for the max seemingly no matter what.


    • TheCrippler

      Really? Because in 2010-2011 season the Cavs drew 824,595 while the Heat drew 810,930…..that was Lebron’s first year in Miami.

      • Z....

        seats at the AAA are ridiculously expensive…I’m not trying to argue for the south florida fans, as I mentioned its the worse fanbase in sports, but I will say that its almost impossible to get Heat tickets

        • TheCrippler

          I don’t disagree with you, but when someone comes out and says that the Heat drew more than the Cavs did the last four years is completely false….just look at the links he provided.

          • Z....

            I dont see why this argument matters though

          • TheCrippler

            Honestly it doesn’t, just wanted to point out his fact were incorrect. I live in Cleveland and I saw the decent crowds the Cavs would still draw even though they only would win 20-30 games.

        • TheCrippler

          By the way, very classy icon…..good to see a true Miami fan exists.

          • Z....

            thanks. I honestly wish him personal success. I was super high on Kyrie Irving before last year, and I really like Dion Waiters and Tristian Thompson as well. Andrew Wiggins is clearly a stud, though I would have had a hard time passing on Embiid had he been healthy. They have a good roster. Its going to be about them not being as lazy as they were last year (which started with Kyrie Irving and trickled down) and them actually playing defense (which right now, only LeBron and Wiggins do on that team). LeBron wont stand for that garbage, and I expect him to be a great leader…on a side note, I may actually be able to afford going to a few games this year…probably not lol

      • frogbogg

        Heat drew 100.9% capacity vs Cleveland at 97.8% that year. Cleveland has a bigger arena by about 1,000 seats.

        How about the next year?

        525,577 fans. What happened to those 300,000 fans?? Must have been the same 300,000 that fell off of the Heat ‘ s twitter account yesterday.

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