The maximum amount of money a player can sign for is contingent on the number of years that player has played and the total of the salary cap. The maximum salary of a player with 6 or fewer years of experience is $9,000,000 or 25% of the total salary cap (2009-10: $14,472,500). For a player with 7–9 years of experience, the maximum is $11,000,000 or 30% of the cap (2009-10: $17,310,000), and for a player with 10+ years of experience, the maximum is $14,000,000 or 35% of the cap (2008-2009: $20,195,000).
With that being said, We all know Lebron will have an opt out in his contract that he will exercise after 3 years so he can be grandfathered...(35% of the cap with annual increase of 10.5%)
if so, then he will only be leaving 1.3 million on the table to join another team. most media outlets talk about Lebron leaving 30 mil on the table but thats mostly based on the last year the cavs can give him.
cavs can give him 10.5% increases each year while other teams can give him 8%.
cavs other teams
year 1 16.5 16.5
year 2 18.2 17.8
year 3 20.1 19.2
if he doesn't opt out and signs an extension with cleveland he will be making 17.1 in 2010 vs 16.5 in 2010.
so if its about the money..... why opt out Lebron????
sign an extension like kobe and gasol did