This new deal will pay King James $31 million next season, making him the highest-paid player in the NBA for the first time in his career. He will top $33 million in the second year, making him the highest-paid player in a single season in NBA history. That tops Michael Jordan's salary with the Bulls in 1997-98. His contract also includes a player option for the third year.
James returned to Cleveland on a two-year deal with a player option, and then opted out, only to agree to another one-year deal. He had no intentions of "taking his talents" elsewhere, but used it as a strategy to work toward a larger deal.
The three-time NBA Champion, three-time Finals MVP, and four-time NBA MVP made his announcement with a video on Uninterrupted. He did have one request, and that is for the team to work out a deal with his good friend, J.R. Smith, who is a free agent. With the king locked up, Cleveland now feels more comfortable focusing on other tasks at hand.