AFPLos Angeles, CA, United StatesAug 12, 2016, 12.36 AM (IST)
LeBron James has agreed to a three-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, which will likely make him the highest-paid player in the National Basketball Association.
"I just want to let you all know I'm re-signing back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, my hometown team," James said on his multi-media website Uninterrupted. "I can't be more excited than this opportunity once again, man, to defend our crown, defend our title... just get the band back together."
James, a three-time NBA champion, did not release details of the contract but US sports broadcaster ESPN reported that it was worth $100 million and would pay him $31 million in the first year and $33 million in the second, making him the league's highest-paid player for the first time in his career.
James has signed a pair of one-year deals with the Cavaliers over the past few years. He chose to go with a longer term deal in Cleveland, his hometown, because of the Cavs' success.
"We all know last year (was) magical, inspiring, all the words you can come up with. It was an unbelievable season," said the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer. "I just can't wait to get the group back together, the team, the franchise, more importantly, get everybody together. The fans. Without you guys, without your passion and commitment, we wouldn't have been able to do what we did this past season. I'm ecstatic."
Nothing is official as the three-time NBA finals MVP isn't expected to sign the new deal until next week when he returns to Cleveland for a charity event, ESPN said. James also said he hopes the team can convince free agent guard JR Smith to return next season.