What is unquestionably clear, the decision of LeBron and Dwyane Wade to actively become free agents even if they intend to re-sign will be an experience that costs them at least $1,923,813 (three-year contract with current team scenario). Of course if they re-sign for a six-year deal after becoming a free agent, the number increases to $3,511,035.
The numbers below also apply to Wade and Chris Bosh.
Comment: All numbers are gross income before taxes, which of course vary based upon where the player plays so net of taxes the results could be different because state income tax rates vary as does cost of living in different locations. Also, I am sure that Bosh pays taxes at a different rate by playing in Canada.
Exercise Player Option, Extension with Cavaliers
Five-Year Total: $103,752,925
Five-Year Average: $20,750,585
Decline Player Option, Sign With Cavaliers
Six-Year Total: $125,509,473
Six-Year Average: $20,918,246
*Five-Year Total: $100,241,890
*Five-Year Average: $20,048,378
Sign With New Team Outright
Five-Year Total: $96,099,670
Five-Year Average: $19,219,934
Chris Reina is the executive editor of RealGM. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/cr_reina