Why LeBron James might not get 5-year max contract

USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt explains LeBron James’ decision to opt out of his current deal with the Cavs.

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James’ decision to opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent on July 1 is not a surprise.

With the NBA’s unprecedented jump in the salary cap, James is maximizing his earning power. By opting out, he will make more in 2016-17 than he would have by remaining in his contract he signed last July.

James’ agent informed the Cavs of the decision to opt out before Wednesday’s deadline, a person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.

Since James returned to Cleveland in 2014, he has signed two, two-year contracts, opting out after the first season of each deal to capitalize on larger raises.

James, the MVP of the 2016 Finals, could sign a two-year contract worth $56.3 million in July and opt out next season when he could sign a long-term deal with full Bird rights when the…

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