Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James will decline his $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season and will be an unrestricted free agent, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
James faced Friday’s deadline to inform the Cavaliers of his decision but had always planned to opt out of his deal, league sources said.
James, a four-time NBA MVP, three-time champion and 14-time All-Star, will enter free agency with the Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers as his leading suitors. James played all 82 games this past season and had one of his best seasons at age 33, averaging 27.5 points, 9.1 assists and 8.7 rebounds and leading the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals.
James’ decision to decline the option gives him maximum flexibility in free agency. James led the Cavaliers, the franchise near his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to the 2016 NBA championship and four consecutive Finals berths.
James returned to Cleveland in 2014 after leaving the organization in 2010 to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat. In Miami, James won two Finals MVP awards while winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
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