LeBron James will reportedly decline his $35.6 million player option for the 2018-2019 season, electing to become a free agent.
Bleacher Report's Howard Beck reported the news of James' decision.
According to ESPN front-office insider Bobby Marks, Cleveland can offer James a more lucrative deal than any other team -- a five-year max contract in the neighborhood of $205 million. Any other suitor can offer a four-year pact worth $152 million.
Should James re-sign with a shortened one-plus-one deal in Cleveland, his compensation for 2018-19 would be $35.4 million, and 2019-20 would jump to $38.2 million as the option year.
The move doesn't necessarily guarantee that James will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer, but opens the door for the 33-year-old to explore different possibilities.
With reports surfacing that King James' preferred destination would be with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers could also be on LeBron's radar.
After the deciding Game 4 of the NBA Finals, James told reporters:
"I have no idea at this point. The one thing that I've always done is consider my family, understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl right now that wasn't around as well. So sitting down and considering everything—my family is a huge part of whatever I've decided to do in my career, and they'll continue to be that. So I don't have an answer for you right now as far as that."
This could be the last big free agent contract of his career. Wherever he signs, James may ultimately finish his career with that team.
At this point, it is not fair to criticize LeBron for his decision. He came back to the city that originally drafted him and delivered the franchise it's first championship.
At this point of his career, he is thinking about his NBA legacy and what he wants it to be. Whether is be Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston or anywhere else he desires to be, his ultimate goal will be to hang a banner in the rafters and adding another ring to his finger.