LeBron James signed a two-year, $42 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers that has an opt-out clause in the second season, allowing him to potentially again become a free agent next summer, a source with knowledge of the deal told Yahoo Sports.
The source said James is committed to staying with the Cavaliers long-term and could sign a new five-year contract with the team as early as next summer. The short-term contract also gives him the chance to earn a greater maximum contract after the league negotiates a new television contract in 2016 and possibly a new collective bargaining agreement with the players union.
James announced Friday he was leaving the Miami Heat to return to Cleveland, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career, and Northeast Ohio, where he grew up.
"I feel my calling here goes above basketball," James wrote in his announcement on Sports Illustrated's website. "I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from.
"I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get."
James, 29, likely still has several years left in his prime. He's a four-time MVP and made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat, winning championships in two of them.
ESPN.com first reported details of James' new contract.