LeBron James agreed early Wednesday to a three-year contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers, keeping the All-Star forward with the club through at least the 2009-10 season.
The contract includes an option that would allow James to extend the deal one season, the Cavaliers reported on their Web site. The contract, which James is yet to sign, will take effect after the 2006-07 season.
“I knew all along – and I had always said – that I wanted to stay here in Cleveland, so it’s a terrific day for me and my family to actually make it official,” James said in an interview on the team’s Web site. “Now I can continue to concentrate on basketball and helping bring a championship to Cleveland.”
James chose an extension that is for two years less than the maximum deal the Cavs could have offered under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, a five-year package worth as much as $80 million.
“We did extensive research and with the way the CBA is set up, it makes the most business sense to sign this extension and then look at another new contract in four years,” James said.
Financial terms weren’t revealed.
Although the 21-year-old James announced Saturday that he had agreed to an extension with the Cavs, the deal couldn’t be finalized until Wednesday, when the NBA’s moratorium on free agency ended.
The deal works out well for James and the Cavaliers, whose management made the negotiation process run smoothly, said the player’s agent, Leon Rose.
“They really look at their relationship with LeBron as a partnership and understand that helping LeBron maximize his opportunities only helps them as well,” Rose said.