Ohio Sports Time

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cleveland Cavs: LeBron James’ contract & future in Cleveland

The comparisons between Michael Jordan and LeBron James will continue for years, and I can’t say that the staff at Ohio Sports Time has any reason to ignore them. Sure, Jordan is likely the greatest player of all-time, but few can argue with LeBron’s potential and his success so far. This season the Cavaliers had no business giving the Pistons a good series, let alone forcing seven games, but LeBron did not disappoint as he led the Cavs to a 3-2 series lead. While the Cavaliers were unable to close the deal it was Jordan and the Bulls who struggled to get past the same Detroit Pistons back in the early 1990’s while Jordan was developing into the eventual superstar player we know him as now.

Talk now is that the Cavs will offer LeBron James a new contract extension around July 1st. Then LeBron can sign anytime after July 12th on a contract extension that could be worth as much as $75 million over 5 years. All indications from LeBron are that he wants to stay in Cleveland and sign a long-term deal. If he were to say no to the Cavs or wait until next year’s off season to hear offers from other teams he would become a restricted free agent meaning the Cavs could then match any offer he gets from another team. As we all know, the Danny Ferry and the Cavaliers will match any offer LeBron may get. But again, all indications are that LeBron will indeed sign that long-term extension this offseason and set all doubts aside.

Now, after a bitter Game 7 loss @ Detroit, it’s time for LeBron and the Cavaliers to remain hungry and become even hungrier. The disappointment of the 4-3 series loss to Detroit needs to fuel the fire of the Cavaliers over the next 5 months until they get into the NBA preseason in October and then fuel their drive toward an NBA Championship in 2006-2007. LeBron will have a hard time topping his 2005-2006 numbers, but the Cavaliers will be looking to improve on their 50-32 record to better-position themselves for a NBA Championship run next season.

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