The Los Angeles Lakers finally land their marquee free agent, signing LeBron James to a four-year deal.
LeBron James is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Many believe things were headed this way as the free agency period started, but now we have official confirmation from his management group. The deal is a four-year deal worth $154 million. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers were also in the mix.
So, now what? This represents a seismic shift in the NBA. LeBron had taken the Cavaliers to four straight NBA Finals, winning a championship in 2016. He’s been to eight straight Finals dating back to his days with the Miami Heat. He’s played his entire career in the Eastern Conference. Now, he’ll head West and go head-to-head with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Lakers missed out on Paul George when free agency started. George ended up re-signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder for three years, plus a player option for the fourth year. The Lakers, rich with young talent, have long been chasing a co-star for LeBron. They remain engaged in trade talks with the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard. They’re also reportedly trying to sign free agent center DeMarcus Cousins and met with Houston Rockets restricted free agent Clint Capela.
Julius Randle remains a restricted free agent who the Lakers have a big decision on.
If LeBron is looking to add to his championship resume, it’s unlikely he will want to play with rookie and sophomore players such as Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart. All three, and Brandon Ingram have been discussed in a potential Leonard trade. However, if he’s looking for life after basketball, signing with Los Angeles helps him build towards that future.
He’s already the second greatest player of all-time, at worst. His legacy is pretty secure. He may just want to live comfortably in Hollywood. This is just the beginning of a big offseason for LeBron and the Lakers. They’ve built a partnership that is attractive to any player in the league. Now, the real works begins.