Discussion

The downside of signing LeBron James

Updated: May 20, 2010, 12:30 PM ET
By Peter Keating

LeBron James is literally the most valuable pro athlete of our time, generating more than $80 million a year in revenues and more than $250 million in franchise value for the Cavaliers. Both figures almost certainly rank as the highest in team sports. And that cash, plus millions more that LeBron pumps into Cleveland's municipal economy, will vanish if James bolts this summer.

But here's the shocking twist: Even if the Cavs do re-sign him, their best financial days are probably behind them.

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