LeBron James will undoubtedly return to the Cleveland Cavaliers next season, but he remains the biggest name of all the NBA free agents. Even though the Cavs aren't worried about losing the best basketball player in the world, it could be some time before James signs his new deal.
According to ESPN.com, Cleveland and James are not currently discussing giving the four-time MVP a new contract. Instead, James wants to wait until Tristan Thompson is signed before he negotiates his deal.
Thompson is a restricted free agent, and it appeared that he was on his way towards returning to Cleveland. But contract talks between the two sides have since stalled. Thompson rejected a four-year, $52 million contract offer during the season. He reportedly was discussing a five-year, $80 million contract with Cleveland on the first day of free agency. Thompson is represented by Rich Paul, James' agent.
Cleveland is hoping to re-sign Thompson and bring back the core of last season’s team that reached the NBA Finals. Kevin Love will stay after getting a five-year, $110 million contract, and Iman Shumpert is returning on a four-year deal worth $40 million. J.R. Smith is also a free agent.
Marc Gasol is in a similar situation to James. He’s a free agent, as well, and the best player available at his position. Gasol hasn’t negotiated with other teams, but there’s yet to be an announcement that he’s returning to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The center was reportedly nearing a new contract with the Grizzlies worth over $100 million for five years. But the two sides have yet to officially come to terms.
The biggest free agents that were expected to possibly switch teams have signed new contracts. LaMarcus Aldridge signed a max contract with the San Antonio Spurs and DeAndre Jordan is headed to the Dallas Mavericks.