LOS ANGELES: LeBron James, fresh off guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA title, is headed for free agency after officially declining the $24 million player option on his contract.
While the move frees James to talk to other teams, he isn’t expected to leave Cleveland but to negotiate a new contract with them.
“I love it here. I love being here,” Ohio native James told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the afterglow of the Cavs’ NBA Finals triumph.
“Obviously my agent will take care of all the logistical things, but I’m happy. I’ve got no plans to go nowhere at this point.”
James, 31, was a unanimous choice as NBA Finals Most Valuable Player after leading the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors.
He averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists during the seven-game series.
Assuming James returns, the Cavaliers look to be in good shape for next season. The team’s unrestricted free agents are reserves Timofey Mozgov and Richard Jefferson, while backup guard Matthew Dellavedova will be a restricted free agent.