LeBron James isn't headed to Los Angeles or back to Miami - he's staying in Cleveland.
Per Joe Vardon of cleveland.com, James said at Wednesday's Championship Parade that he has 'no plans' to head anywhere else next season. Here's his full quote:
"I love it here. I love being here. I love my teammates," James told cleveland.com, moments before he boarded a float at The Q for the Cavs' championship parade through downtown Cleveland. "Obviously my agent will take care of all the logistical things but, I'm happy. I've got no plans to go nowhere at this point."
He also told the same thing to ESPN's Dave McMenamin:
LeBron to ESPN (1 of 1): "I love it here in Cleveland. I have no intentions of leaving."— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 22, 2016
LeBron to ESPN (2 of 2): "There are some technicalities to take care of I'll leave up to my agent. That's right from the horse's mouth"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 22, 2016
LeBron can become a free agent if/when he declines to pick up his player option worth $24 milion next season. It makes sense for him to do so, as he can make over $30 million next season on a new deal. To make over $30 million, however, he'd have to sign a long-term deal, as he can *only* make $27.5 million on a one-year deal with the Cavs. Assuming he opts out, he can start negotiating a new deal on July 1 and sign on July 6.
For LeBron, the real question now is what kind of deal he signs. He could again opt for a short deal and opt out next summer if he wants to sign a full max deal under what is assumed to be an even higher salary cap. He could also sign one this summer and still make a ton money.