CLEVELAND — LeBron James will not pick up the player option on the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to ESPN and multiple reports.
James had until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday to inform the Cavs of his intentions before the option expired.
The decision will make the four-time MVP the headliner of a star-studded free agent class that includes Paul George, Chris Paul and DeMarcus Cousins, among others.
The league will hold its breath heading into the official start of free agency at 12:01 a.m. ET on Saturday to see how the balance of power could shift should James take his talents out of Cleveland to possibly create a new superteam with the Los Angeles Lakers or join a burgeoning power such as the Houston Rocketsor Philadelphia 76ers.