- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

CLEVELAND — Just shy of the one-year anniversary of his celebrated homecoming, LeBron James told the Cleveland Cavaliers he’s staying put.

James agreed to terms of a one-year, $23 million contract for next season, two people familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. The deal includes a player option for 2016-17.

That contract will be finalized soon, as the four-time MVP has a busy schedule over the next few weeks to promote a new comedy film in which he portrays himself.

James is hosting a VIP screening in Akron on Friday, where he’ll walk the red carpet with the other stars of “Trainwreck,” an R-rated movie he filmed last summer shortly after announcing he was returning to the Cavaliers.

Unlike last July, when his essay in Sports Illustrated touched Cleveland fans and changed the NBA’s landscape, James wasn’t the star attraction during this summer’s free agency period. He ended any suspense about his future in Cleveland by saying he several times during the past season that he intends to end his career with the Cavaliers.

While his agreement with the Cavaliers is not a surprise, it does give him future flexibility and the ability to make more money next summer when the league’s new TV deal kicks in. The $24 billion package is expected to escalate the salary cap by millions.

The 30-year-old James led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in his first season back — a series Cleveland lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors.

Forced to carry the scoring load following injuries to all-star point guard Kyrie Irving and forward Kevin Love, James was brilliant against the Warriors, averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists — the best statistical line in finals history.

But it wasn’t enough, and after dropping to 2-4 in the finals, James said he’s more motivated than ever to bring a championship to Cleveland, which has gone without a major pro sports title since 1964.

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