After much speculation and borderline stalking, Klutch Sports announces that LeBron James will be signing with Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year, $153.3 million-dollar. Like the superstars before him, James will try and bring the City of Angels more championships.
Purple And Gold Win 2018 NBA Free Agency: LeBron James Signs With The Los Angeles Lakers
The day before James’ announcement, Oklahoma City Thunder small forward, Paul George, announced his re-commitment to the Thunder while partying with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma. George agreed to a 4 year, $137 million-dollar deal. This was a hard blow for the Lakers as they lost a player who really wanted to play for them just one season ago. Little did we know, while George was partying, Magic Johnson was securing the Lakers’ future.
On that same Saturday night, Johnson paid a visit to LeBron James at his Brentwood home. As reported by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, a late-night visit that allowed Magic to make the case for the 16-time NBA championship franchise.
The Cavaliers were the first team that James contacted at midnight, per Dave McMenamin from ESPN. Both LeBron and his agent, Rich Paul, contacted Cavaliers GM Koby Altman over the phone. Although James had opted out of his contract with the Cavs on Friday, the Cavaliers were still strong contenders because they could offer exceptionally more money than the Lakers or the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers had also secured a meeting with LeBron James on Sunday in Los Angeles. James wasn’t actually in attendance, he sent his agent Paul. The 76ers were offering a $38 million-dollar per year deal over four years, along with the chance to play with rising stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Not to mention that the 76ers were also in trade talks for San Antonio Spurs SF, Kawhi Leonard. James had a lot to think about and before he boarded a plane to Europe, he informed his agent of his decision.
What Does This Mean for The Lakers?
First off, this means that the Lakers now have a chance to compete in the Western Conference division and possibly take on the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors. Just having the athletic freak that is LeBron James on your team can change the outcome of a season entirely. James played all 82 games last season, averaging 27.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists per game. He was able to take the Cavaliers to the NBA finals before losing to Golden State.
Although James will be working with a young and inexperienced team, there is a lot of talent on the Lakers squad who can definitely step up and play next level basketball. Expect the Lakers to make more offseason moves to compliment the King.
James joining the Lakers confirmed last year’s moves from Jeanie Buss, controlling owner and Lakers president. Back in February of 2017, Jeanie Buss and the newest president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, fired her brother, front office executive, Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak. It was later announced that ex-agent, Rob Pelinka would take over as GM. It was a complicated, overdue decision, but signing the best player in the NBA would echo the change that Jeanie Buss was preaching.
The self-proclaimed King is bringing back what was once lost when Kobe Bryant retired. He will become the newest glimpse of hope for L.A. and will set out on a mission to accomplish what many greats before him have done: win championships. Although his move was more than a basketball decision, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is winning the Larry O’Brien championship trophy.