While there was little fanfare about LeBron James re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers when it was officially announced last week, one clause in the contract does give him a level of distinction accorded to only a handful of players.
James signed a three-year, $100 million deal this past week, which will make him the highest-paid player in the NBA for the first time in his career. However, recent reports are saying that the signing also includes a no-trade clause for the first time in his career, which is a rarity among the league’s players.
On the LBJ contract. James joins Melo, KG and Dirk as players with a no trade clause. 8 seasons and with current team 4 yrs to be eligible.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 15, 2016
The reason that James is finally eligible for this rare treatment is because of an NBA rule that gives that right to players who have spent at least eight years in the league and four with their present team. Since James has spent nine total seasons with the Cavaliers franchise, he fits into this select category.
At the moment, only three other active players have this distinction: Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony and Dirk Nowitzki. Last season, three other players were also part of this group: Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan, who have since retired, and Dwyane Wade, who gave up that right when he signed a huge free-agency deal with the Chicago Bulls.