LeBron James' new contract leaves door open for 'Banana boat gang' assembly

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LeBron James finally ended the waiting game last week as he signed a new deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The three-time NBA finals MVP surprised many by agreeing to a three-year contract, ending his 'tradition' of signing two-year agreements since returning to Ohio.

James had previous agreed to deals with a player option for the final year - opting out on both occasions - but has two guaranteed years in his newest contract before a player option heading into the 2018/19 season. And maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with his friends Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.

In an interview with Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, the forward said he would like to play with the trio before he decides to call it a day, and coincidentally all of their contracts could sync up in the summer of 2018 if that is the intention.

Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks forward, who is currently in Rio de Janeiro trying to win his third gold medal for the USA, has two seasons remaining on his contract before he could potentially opt out.

His spell with the Big Apple franchise has been far from perfect, and it would come as no surprise to see the relationship end in 2018.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

Chris Paul

Paul has the option to test free agency next year and could be one of the biggest names on the market in what might be the best summer in history.

Given the increase in the salary cap, he is likely to invoke his early termination clause. Signing a two-year deal with a player option could leave CP3 open to joining his friends.

Dwyane Wade

The new Chicago Bulls man agreed to a two-year contract with a player option when returning to his home franchise.

Whether he accepts or rejects the second year, it is likely he will be free to choose his own future in two years time.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat

Will it happen?

With the increase in salary cap and the relatively low maximum deals, it is possible that a team could finance a move for the four All-Stars. Some sacrifices may have to be made by the players, but don't write it off.

The only thing that is against them is their age. Wade will be 36, Melo will be 34 and both LeBron and Paul will be 33. Still young enough to produce a high level, but old enough to put the seed of doubt into a potentially interested franchise and their own minds.

The 2016 ESPYS - Show

Of course, this is all hypothetical. LeBron is blazing a trail for more titles and is unlikely to leave Cleveland anytime soon. Could they join him? Well, the Cavs already have a superstar team with a huge wage bill.

He could be tempted to leave as his final seasons approached, and the aforementioned stars would still be a powerhouse. We'll have to wait and see.

LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Chris Paul
LA Clippers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Dwyane Wade
Miami Heat
Southeast Division

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