James finished second in MVP voting, amassing 738 points, behind only first-time victor James Harden of the Rockets (965). That still is a possibility, but the speculation around the National Basketball Association has been that George - who also opted out of his contract and became an unrestricted free agent this week - is leaning toward remaining with the Oklahoma City Thunder rather than going to play for his hometown Lakers. Before he joined the Heat, James had meetings with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers, where team representatives pitched the All-Star with personalized presentations and marketing plans.
Meanwhile, in the world of verified information, Vardon has reported that James will not exercise his $35.6 million option on his contract for 2018-19 and will become an unrestricted free agent on Sunday. He could opt out and re-sign with Cleveland, although the strong current from national media is James appears ready to move again.
Gilbert went on to say the team wish James "nothing but the best in the years and decades ahead" and also said they looked forward to someday retiring the star's number 23 jersey.
With free agency officially starting on July 1, questions like these will soon be answered.
The fact that he didn't pick up his option could be good news for anxious Cavs fans, who fear James may leave them for the second time in his career.
There had been speculation James would consider opting into the final year of his current contract - which he had until 11:59 p.m. Friday (Saturday NZT) to do. Should James want to come back to Miami it would have to be via sign-&-trade and the Heat may not have the assets that can both satisfy the Cavs while having the team be considered a title contender.
On Thursday, Oklahoma City star Paul George, who has also been linked to the Lakers opted out of his player contract for next season. A snag might present itself should Los Angeles include Lonzo Ball in trade packages with the Spurs. With 16 championships in the organization, Could the King bring a couple more?
James, 33, is coming off one of his finest campaigns as a pro in his 15th season.
Temple averaged a career-high 8.4 points in 65 games (35 starts) last season. He showed no signs of slowing down, if anything he had found a new gear. However, following a 2017-18 campaign in which the Cavaliers were swept by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, he has chosen to decline it.
It was James' eighth consecutive Finals appearance, a remarkable feat not matched since Hall of Famer Bill Russell and a handful of Celtics did it in the 1960s. "He's still, I think, one of the most fantastic athletes in basketball today". He had done everything possible, and as he left Quicken Loans Arena following Game 4 along with his sons, there was an air of uncertainty heading into this summer.
Kerr, 52, just finished the fourth year of a five-year, $25 million contract he signed when he joined the Warriors in 2014. James distanced himself from the organization during the summer of 2010 when he ultimately chose to leave. "The entire Cavaliers franchise thanks LeBron for that precious moment and for all of the excitement he delivered as he led our team to four straight NBA Finals appearances".
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