NBA News: LeBron James Targets $202 Million Deal With Cavs in 2016

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By Lou Imperial | July 26, 2014 5:53 PM EST

LeBron James' next contract could go as high as $202 million deal over five years, once a new TV deal has been agreed upon, Sheridan Hoops editor-in-chief Chris Sheridan claimed in his latest column.

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Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce defends against Miami Heat forward LeBron James in the second half in game four of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs in New York in this file photo taken May 12, 2014. LeBron James is going home by signing with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, he said in an article in Sports Illustrated on Friday.

Sheridan, who has been a long-time NBA analyst for multiple sites, believed James could benefit a lot financially from the upcoming TV deal because players' salaries will significantly rise. NBA players could double the amount of their contract, if the NBA is able to get three TV partners (ESPN, Fox Sports and Turner Sports).

"If the money paid by ESPN, Turner Sports and Fox Sports (yes, they NBA could have three TV partners instead of the current two, following the trail blazed by the NFL) is double what is being paid under the current deal, the salary cap will rise accordingly," Sheridan claimed.

James' decision to go back to Cleveland is not a pure basketball decision alone. He also looks into the possibility of getting the most money than any other NBA player by signing a cleverly-structured contract with the Cavs.

According to ESPN, the four-time NBA MVP signed a two-year, $42.1 million contract (opt-out option in second year) with the goal of re-signing a new deal with the Cavs in 2016. If the new TV deal is eventually approved, James' salary could increase as much as $202 million in his next contract.

"If, for argument's sake, if the salary cap rises to $100 million, James would be eligible for a new contract with a maximum salary of 35 percent of the cap," Sheridan stated. "With 7.5 percent annual raises, James would be eligible for a new five-year contract with salaries of $35 million in Year 1, then $37,626,000, $40,250,000, $42,875,000, $47,550,000.

"That adds up to $201.5 million."

The 29-year old James spent four seasons with the Miami Heat, helping the team reach the NBA Finals four consecutive times and winning two championships in the process. James has been dominant individually for his team, but hasn't received a max salary more than three times in his career.

Now, he wished to have a sense of financial security moving forward. The four-time NBA MVP has been expressing his desire to have a contract as lucrative as other MLB stars like Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who signed an eight-year, $248 million extension last year.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Noah K. Murray)
Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce defends against Miami Heat forward LeBron James in the second half in game four of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs in New York in this file photo taken May 12, 2014. LeBron James is going home by signing with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, he said in an article in Sports Illustrated on Friday.
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