mattb47 wrote:It's up to both the player and his former and new teams to work out a sign-and-trade deal which gives his old team something in return for him. If he had simply just signed with Miami instead of the sign and trade, Cleveland would have received absolutely nothing for him but they ended up getting something in return because he worked with them to accomplish that.
It is supposed to help teams capitalize on assets that they would lose if a player became a free agent, it can help the player get more money or a longer contract, and it will help the team gaining the player by offering a better and more competitive contract to the player than otherwise allowed under league rules. Imagine a player who is planning on pursuing free agency in the coming off-season. His current team knows that at least one of the other teams will sign him. If this happens the team will get nothing in return for the player. However, because the team is the players current contract holder, the team can offer the player more money per year than any other team and can sign the player to a longer contract (per the NBA collective bargaining agreement). It is therefore in the economic interest of the player to be signed by his former team to the more lucrative contract and be traded instead of going to free agency. It is also in the best interests of the former team because it will then get players or draft picks in return for the player they are losing.
Don't understand the actual signing part but Lebron could have just signed as Matt said and they would have gotten nothing.
Also here are the final details
■LeBron James, who signs a 6-year, $110 million contract
■Two first-round picks, that must be used starting in 2013 and ending by 2017
■2012 second-round pick Miami received from New Orleans
■Future second-round pick Heat acquired from Oklahoma City
■Cleveland can also swap first round picks with the Heat in 2012
■A large trade exception($15 million or so) that the Cavs must use in trades for one calendar year.