NEW YORK– The Cavaliers have just two regular season games left before playoffs begin. As the season draws to a close, the LeBron James free agency rumor mill is working in overdrive.
James, who is in the 15th year of his career, has a $35.6 million player’s option in his contract for the 2018-19 season. He is expected to decline that option to become a free agent, and speculation has run rampant for months about whether or not he will stay in Cleveland or head elsewhere.
In speaking with cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, however, James offered a rare look into his thought process on his upcoming free agency decision.
When it comes time for James to weigh his options, he said Sunday that the most important component in determining whether he stays in northeast Ohio or leaves will be his family.
“My family. That’s all that matters,” James told cleveland.com. “I want to continue to win at the highest level, because I know I can still do it as an individual, and then my family. My family is what’s most important to me, more than anything.”
James has been consistent in talking about his free agency, as Vardon points out. He has said he wants to finish his career as a Cavalier as recently as media day in September, but he also hasn’t confirmed explicitly that he isn’t going anywhere. James also has repeatedly said that he will not think about his free agency decision during the season.
And while he told cleveland.com his family will play a big part in his decision, it is just one factor.
“That’s just a small piece of it,” James said, when asked if the decision comes down to where his family wants to live. “We make joint decisions all together, all the time. Once we get to it, my agent and my team we will all tackle it the right way but my family plays a big part in it. And winning.”
The bottom line remains that while rumors about his decision will continue to circulate, history tells us that James will wait and weigh his options once the season is over, and that his camp doesn’t leak things to the media. Until then, take everything with a grain of salt.