Reports: LeBron James declines option, will become free agent

LeBron James has decided not to pick up his $35.6 million option for next season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will become an unrestricted free agent, according to multiple reports, including Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck.

James, 33, had until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday to make this decision. With this move, James can sign with any team starting at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Joe Vardon, an NBA reporter for, first broke the news, which was later confirmed by ESPN and other media outlets.

CNN has reached out to the Cavaliers and James’ representation for comment but has not heard back.

James will be a free agent for a third time since entering the league, but the Cavs can still pay him more money than any other team.

The four-time MVP will easily headline a stellar free agent class that includes Paul George, Chris Paul, DeMarcus Cousins and others.

In 2010, James shocked NBA fans by going to Miami. In 2014, he made massive headlines again by returning to Cleveland — and fulfilling his promise to bring a championship to the city in 2016.

Where James goes could have a seismic impact on the NBA landscape.

“I have no idea at this point,” James said after the NBA Finals when asked if he’s played his last game for the Cavaliers after getting swept by the Golden Warriors.

“The one thing that I’ve always done is considered, obviously, my family. Understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I’ve got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl that wasn’t around as well.

“So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I’ll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that. So I don’t have an answer for you right now as far as that.”