LeBron James to sign four-year deal with Los Angeles Lakers

posted by Curtis Crabtree -

Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James is heading west to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

In what amounted to The Decision 3.0 for the NBA all-star, James' intentions were revealed in a succinct statement from his agency, Klutch Sports Group, on Sunday night.

"LeBron James, four-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA finals MVP, fourteen-time NBA All-Star, and two-time Olympic gold medalist has agreed to a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers," the agency posted on their Twitter account.

It was the least flashy announcement of James' three relocation decisions during his prestigious NBA career. "The Decision" stating he was moving from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat in 2010 generated massive backlash. He announced his return to Cleveland in a 12-paragraph piece in Sports Illustrated in 2014.

James leaves an Eastern Conference in which he's led teams to the NBA Finals in eight consecutive seasons and heads to a Western Conference that is much deeper in talent. The Golden State Warriors have been to four straight finals with three championships. The Houston Rockets posted the best record in the NBA last season and nearly made it to The Finals themselves before an injury to Chris Paul weakened the roster in the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers - even with James - will likely enter the 2018-19 season as the third-best team in the conference. The possibility remains out there for the Lakers to add pieces like Kawhi Leonard or DeMarcus Cousins via trades or free agency, but L.A. managed to win just 35 games last season.

With Paul George electing to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Leonard has become the prime target of the Lakers to pair with James. However, they will likely have to deal some of their young stars, such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and/or Kyle Kuzma to get Leonard to L.A.

The road back to the NBA Finals will be much more difficult for James moving forward, but he gets to try and rebuild the Lakers into a championship contender after delivering on bringing a championship to Cleveland.


Photo Credit: CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 14: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers shakes hands with LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers after the game at Quicken Loans Arena on December 14, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Lakers 121-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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