LeBron James Inks A $154M Deal With The Los Angeles Lakers

Elena Summers
July 2, 2018

George told a party in Oklahoma City that he's staying with the Thunder, after agreeing to terms on what is a $137 million, four-year deal that comes with an option for the final season.

If the Sixers are going to give up a haul like that for Leonard, then they obviously need to know they can re-sign him long-term. The deal is worth $154 million over four years.

If true, this puts to bed long-simmering speculation about James' immediate future in the National Basketball Association, with previous reports suggesting that he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers once again. Smith reported the Lakers can have as much as $68 million if they can work something out with Luol Deng, and by withdrawing a qualifying offer to Julius Randle, making him an unrestricted free agent. They remain engaged in trade talks with the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.

The move will make the three-time champion the most important figure during the upcoming free agency period which will feature other big name stars like Paul George, Demarcus Cousins and Chris Paul. It was a stark contrast from eight years ago, when a poorly conceived TV special to announce his departure from Cleveland backfired and damaged James' image.

Yes, the Lakers are still favorites-but not total locks-to sign LeBron James, league sources say. Los Angeles might not look like a title contender now, especially in a world where the Golden State Warriors exist, but - in James' estimation, presumably - it will.

He flew to Los Angeles on Saturday, creating a frenzy without saying a word.

Within minutes of James' decision, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on "SportsCenter" that one team executive already texted him about playoff reform.

The 33-year-old made a decision to opt out of the final year of his contract in Cleveland and will join the prestigious purple and yellow to play in the Western Conference for the first time.

Houston took Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference finals back in May. He's the next superstar to follow in the legacy that Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson built for the Lakers. The Sixers also have centre Joel Embiid, 24, projected to become the game's next dominant big men. So far, James representatives have been taking meetings in Los Angeles, and it is unclear if James will leave California to take face-to-face meetings with teams.

The chance to play for one of America's most storied franchises is a new challenge for James, who prides himself on knowing the game's history.

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