The Cavaliers Are Facing a Record-Smashing $300 Million Future

Owner Dan Gilbert's team could be looking at an enormous payroll and tax bill next season.

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts on the bench during the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers may have a $300 million roster next season if All-Star LeBron James decides to stay with the franchise. The Cavs put themselves in position to break records with their sweeping trades last week. If James re-signs with the Cavaliers or simply picks up his $35.6 million player option for 2018-19, Cleveland could be looking at an enormous payroll. Owner Dan Gilbert has never put his front office on a budget, so the team has continued to spend for players. For a while, it seemed like James was sending a message to the Cavs’ front office that he wanted the team’s roster upgraded, so they started thinking about the future with or without James. Ultimately, however, the Cavaliers showed their commitment to their best player by trading for George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. By doing so, they are adding about $10 million in salary and luxury tax to their books this season. That will boost their tax payment to about $50 million and their overall payroll to nearly $190 million. This is the second highest in league history at after the Brooklyn Nets’ $193 million in 2013-14.

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