LeBron thoughts

Kenny Roda will be writing a weekly blog on Cleveland Scores covering the entire Cleveland sports universe. Check back often for his updates!

The Cavaliers’ signing of LeBron James. We told you it would happen in our last blog and it has. LeBron agreed to a three-year deal worth about $43 million with a player option for a fourth year that would make the total value of the deal worth $60 million. This isn’t totally what we were all hoping for. We were hoping for a five-year, $80 million deal. But as he’s done so far in his short but amazing career, LeBron has set a new trend.

He realized two things:

1) With a new collective bargaining agreement in the not-too-distant future, he could more than likely make more money then by accepting less money and years now. His good buddy Dwayne Wade has done the same thing in Miami. Yes it’s a risk, but a small one at that, considering how much money they take in outside of the NBA from endorsements.

2) It forces Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry in the next four years to put a good team around Lebron. If they fail to do so, he could decide at the end of this contract, when he would be an unrestricted free agent after the 2009-2010, to take his talents elsewhere, having given the Cavaliers organization seven years to build a winner. When you look at it from that standpoint, as much as we may not like it, it’s a brilliant move by LeBron both on the business side as well as the basketball side. It’s a decision I don’t blame him at all for making.

Also, before you start panicking about the fact that LeBron didn’t sign the max contract, take a few deep breaths and relax. What you’re failing to realize is that we have LeBron in Cleveland for the next four years: the 2006-07 season, which is the final year of his rookie contract, and then three additional years as part of his new contract, which will run through the 2009-10 season.

That’s four years to build a championship team. Plus, even if LeBron decides to decline the player option for 2010-11, the Cavaliers will be able to offer him more money than any other team in the NBA because he will be their free agent. That particular deal could be worth from $150-$160 million. But because of how much money LeBron will have already made by that time, the most important thing in making sure LeBron will stay in Cleveland is winning championships. Memo to owner Dan Gilbert and GM Danny Ferry: get to work now. You’re on the clock and time is ticking away!

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