LeBron James doesn’t want to discuss free agency during the NBA Finals, but insists he is content in Cleveland, according to Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “Ha, I haven’t even thought about that until you just said something,” James said recently. “I’ll tackle all of that after the season, but, yeah, I’m happy where I’m at.” James has a one-year option for next year worth nearly $21.6MM. He is almost certain to opt out, Vardon writes, which means he will become a free agent again for a few days while he and the Cavs work out a new deal. Vardon notes that by opting out, James can make about $22MM for next season with a player option in the neighborhood of $23MM for 2016/17 and the chance to take advantage of the salary cap rise that is expected to accompany a new TV deal.
There’s more from Cleveland on an NBA Finals Sunday:
- Tristan Thompson has asked for a max or near-max deal this summer, reports Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. The power forward, who has been making a huge impact in the playoffs since Kevin Love‘s injury, turned down a four-year offer for close to $52MM in October. Cleveland needs to decide whether it wants to give maximum money to Love and Thompson, who play the same position. Finnan concludes the Cavaliers probably will.
- Cleveland’s depth problem in the Finals is a result of coach David Blatt not having faith in three acquisitions that James endorsed, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Veterans Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and Kendrick Perkins have contributed more as mentors and cheerleaders than as players, Washburn asserts, meaning Cleveland will have to re-tool its bench this summer. He contends the team can return to the Finals next season, but will have to make the right moves first.
- Matthew Dellavedova may be boosting his free agency prospects with stellar defense on Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals, but the Warriors are objecting to the narrative, writes Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. “People have lit a fire under Steph, which is good thing,” said Warriors center Andrew Bogut. “It’s something that you don’t want to do. It worked out well. We know Delly is a great defender, but we know he’s not a Curry stopper.” Dellavedova will become a restricted free agent this summer after two seasons of making the league minimum.