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LeBron James ticks off box on Michael Jordan Checklist

LeBron James ticks off box on Michael Jordan checklistIt’s a win/win scenario; the Cavs retain James as well as their basketball betting second favorite status, and LeBron gets to check off an item in his ‘chasing Michael Jordan’ list. Or to put less esoterically, the NBA Finals MVP has agreed to a three-year, $100 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. James will enter the 2016-17 season as the highest paid player in the league for the first time in his career with a salary of about $31,000,000 – $6 million more than Kobe Bryant made in 2015-2016, give or take. But LeBron doesn’t want Kobe money; he wants MJ money.

And that is why James’s salary for the 2017-18 season will be in the neighborhood of $33 million (quite a nice neighborhood, I hear), making him the best-paid player in a single season in the history of the NBA, surpassing the $33.1 million Michael Jordan made with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98. LeBron will sign the contract when he returns for his annual LeBron James Family Foundation charity event. According to most reports, the third year will be a player option. The Washington Post says that James is worth a lot more than that $100 and adds that it “sounds ludicrous to say a player making the maximum allowed under the CBA is grossly underpaid,” and they’re absolutely right; it is a ludicrous thing to say. Anyone making that kind of money who hasn’t cured cancer is grossly overpaid.

Now why is LeBron going to sign what is pretty much a 2+1 instead of the usual 1+1 deals he’s known for signing (though it is a given he will opt out of the +1 regardless)? That’s a very good question. And the answer is… beats me. There are many reasons and they aren't easy to explain them, basically because I don’t understand them. However, I’m quite sure they can be summed up in the phrase ‘mo’ money.’ Ah, LeBron; he’s way richer than Lenny, but he’d trade it all for a little more. That’s not the point, though; we are gathered here today to discuss the basketball betting implications, for people who bet on NBA, of James staying in Cleveland.

The Cavs didn’t really have much of a choice other than paying James as much as the league’s regulations would allow them too, as well as more than any other team. Cleveland simply couldn’t afford to lose LeBron, at least not if they want to keep up with the odds-on basketball betting favorite Golden State Warriors. The Cavs would’ve been in dire straits – not the rock band – had they let James go, especially considering that the Warriors not only did not lose a Stephen Curry, but actually gained a Kevin Durant. To say that Cleveland wouldn’t have won the NBA championship without LeBron would be the understatement of the decade; he literally led the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and minutes per game during the postseason. And that’s just cold hard stats; James’s experience, leadership, and charisma are indeed priceless.