LeBron James a shoo-in to become a free agent after this season

Mary Schmitt Boyer – Plain Dealer Reporter

LeBron James all but said he plans to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

This does not mean James will leave the Cavaliers, but it does mean he wants to keep all his options open.In his strongest comments on the subject to date, the NBA’s reigning MVP indicated Friday that he would not sign the extension, believed to be three years, offered by the Cavs on July 18 nor pick up his player option that would keep him with the team through the 2010-11 season.

Speaking at the launch of his new Nike Air Max LeBron VII sneaker, James said, "I signed a contract in 2006 with an option. It would make no sense for me to sign that contract if I didn’t keep my options open.

"I’ll let you fill in the blanks."

He has until June 30, 2010, to either sign the extension, which could keep him with the team through the 2013-14 season, or exercise his option. If he exercises the option, he would remain with the Cavs through the 2010-11 season. If he declines to exercise the option or sign the extension, he would become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010. He could then elect to sign a new contract with the Cavs or with any other team. The Cavs, however, always will be able to offer him the longest deal and pay him the most money because of the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/sports/1249720294121020.xml&coll=2

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