LeBron James will become $100 million richer in the next three years after signing a new deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. James signing a new contract with the Cavs was expected, but the four-time MVP caught his fans off guard with a surprising announcement on Thursday.
James has said all along that he will return to Cleveland to defend their title next season.Most fans and NBA analysts expected him to sign a one-year deal to become a free agent again next summer, but he proved he is committed to staying in Cleveland.
The three-time NBA champion announced his decision through an Uninterrupted video, which can be seen below. James said that he cannot wait to get back on the court with his teammates.
“I can’t be more excited than this opportunity once again, man, to defend our crown, defend our title,” James said. “We all know last year as a magical, inspiring — all the words you can come up with — it was an unbelievable season. I just can’t wait to get the group back together.”
James was third on 2016 Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes behind soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The 31-year-old earned $23.2 million from his NBA salary and winnings and $54 million from endorsement deals, including a lucrative paycheck from Nike.
LeBron James Salary & Contract Details
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Cavaliers. But according to ESPN, James signed a three-year deal worth $100 million with an option to become a free agent again before the 2018-19 NBA season. It was significantly higher than his previous two-year, $47 million agreement with the Cavs.
With his new deal, James is now the highest-paid player in the NBA for the first time in his career. He is set to earn $33 million next season, the highest salary for a player in a single season. Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan also earned around $33 million during the 1997-98 season.