Warriors

Warriors

OK. So here's what happened.

At 12:42pm on Wednesday afternoon, Chris Sheridan tweeted the following:

About 35 minutes later, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com weighed in:

You probably already know this, but LeBron James can opt out of his contract next summer and become a free agent.

After the Cavs won the title in 2016, he signed a three-year deal worth $99,857,127 -- which included a player option in Year 3.

Since the moment the Warriors beat Cleveland in this year's Finals (and even before that really), people have been speculating about LeBron's future.

There are many in NBA circles who believe he will be rocking a Lakers uniform in 2018-19.

Then of course there's the whole "Kyrie Irving wants to be traded because he doesn't want to play with LeBron anymore" variable.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "The Cavs should trade LeBron instead of Kyrie," that's not really possible because LeBron possesses a no-trade clause.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Tuesday:

As the Cleveland Cavaliers deliberate on deals to move All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, the franchise is operating under a self-prescribed mandate: presume a future without LeBron James.

The Cavs aren't giving up on the possibility of re-signing James next summer, but they are no longer investing blind faith in the hope he will stay.

Needless to say, the next 11 months are going to be a roller coaster...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller