Dan Gilbert wants LeBron James to leave Cavs

Dan Gilbert wants LeBron James to leave Cavs

James told the Cavaliers that he is not exercising his $35.6 million contract option for next season and will become an unrestricted free agent, two people familiar with the decision told the Associated Press today.

Not being able to get George means the Lakers have to look elsewhere for a possible star to play with James - which, in turn, has led to talks with the San Antonio Spurs this week about the possibility of a trade for Kawhi Leonard.

James signed a three-year deal in 2016, with a player option for the third year.

James' camp and the Cavs' front office has been in regular dialogue since the season ended, sources said, and James' agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, informed the Cavs on Friday morning that the four-time MVP would not be opting in to the final year of his contract with Cleveland worth $35.6 million. Photos posted to social media showed him at the airport with his luggage waiting to get into an SUV, CBS Los Angeles reports. That's due in part to the simple fact that Paul also has other clients that will be in the free agent market. That includes the Cavaliers, who can offer more money than anyone else. And in remarks to the media earlier this week, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson attempted to publicly show he wasn't feeling any pressure to give up too much to land Leonard - and by extension James. But the Lakers have slashed enough payroll to position themselves to afford James and another maximum-salary player. "So I don't have an answer for you right now as far as that".

LeBron James was spotted by AIR7 HD landing at Van Nuys Airport on Saturday after a long flight from the Caribbean. Even at the age of 33, James averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game in 2017-18. Along with having a core of promising young players that they've built with high draft picks, the Lakers appear to be on the verge of adding at least one, if not two or three All-Stars.

There is still a chance that James could end up staying in Cleveland.

Cleveland is already over the league's projected $101 million salary cap, even without James' contract, with the 10 guaranteed contracts already on the books.

Expect to hear plenty more about James throughout the next few days.

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