Report: NBA Ownership Group Finds LeBron James Could Make Team $65M Annually

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

Cleveland Cavalier's LeBron James waits for officials during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference basketball finals in Boston, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

An NBA ownership group reportedly found that signing LeBron James could generate roughly $65 million for the franchise annually, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.

If James re-signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it will likely be for $205 million over five years, which is an average salary of $41 million.

The most any other team can offer LeBron is $150 million over four years, or $37.5 million per year.

The Los Angeles Lakers are now heavily favored to sign James after ESPN reported he landed in L.A. on Saturday.

Per OddsShark, the Lakers are a massive 1-50 (-5,000) favorite, while "the field" is listed at just 15-1 (+1,500).

In February, Forbes revealed that the Lakers are the second-most valuable team in the NBA at $3.3 billion, placing them behind only the New York Knicks at $3.6 billion.

The Cavs are only 15th at $1.325 billion, and that value figures to drop even further if James departs.

In addition to the interest James can bring and sponsorship opportunities he can create for a franchise, he is also capable of recruiting additional star players.

The Lakers have enough room to acquire two stars, and if they manage to close the deal on James, then it stands to reason that a free agent like Paul George could be compelled to sign, or a trade for San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard could possibly be struck.

Virtually any team that James signs with will become an instant title contender, whether that means going to L.A., returning to Cleveland or anything in between.

Specifically, the Lakers have not made the playoffs since 2012-13, but James would almost certainly help end that drought and generate the additional revenue that comes along with playing postseason games.

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