When LeBron James signed his 2-year, $US42.2 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers it was clear that James was banking on the new television deals for the NBA being huge which in turn would bring the salary cap way up along with his earning potential.
With the NBA nearing deals worth in excess of $US2 billion with ESPN and Turner (TNT) it looks like that is exactly what is happening and once again James was once step ahead of everybody else.
With the increased television revenue, Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk estimates that the new salary cap will rise to $US16 million with that bump likely spread out over two seasons (2015-16 and 2016-17) to eliminate a massive 1-year spike. However, even if spread out over two years, the jump will still be huge.
What this means for LeBron is he will be able to cash in with a new max contract when his 2-year deal expires following the 2015-16 season or sooner if he chooses to opt-out after just one year.
As a 10-year veteran, James’ salary is directly linked to the size of the salary cap as he is eligible to earn up to 35% of the team’s cap space. Instead of an average salary of $US22 million over the next four years, James can start earning an average salary of ~$24.9 million if he opts out after one year or ~$27.7 million if he waits until after the 2015-16 season.
So instead of signing a 4-year, $US88 million deal now, James can potentially earn up to $US153 million over the next six years, an extra $US65 million over two years as long as he stays healthy.
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