This time he didn’t drag it out, it only took 20 hours into free agency for Lebron James to make a decision.
Per his agency Klutch Sports, Lebron James agreed to a four year deal worth $152 million dollars to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The second time in eight years that James has left the Cavaliers in free agency with the first being “The Decision” in 2010.
James touched down in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon where he spends the summer with his family, owns two houses and his production company SpringHill Entertainment is based.
He along with his agent Rich Paul spoke via phone with Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman shortly after 12:01 am on Sunday morning although no details of that phone call are known as of now. Paul also met with the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday afternoon and James was not present at the meeting.
James will now join a young Lakers roster that won 35 games last season under first year head coach Luke Walton and features a young core of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart although those young pieces could be dealt in a trade for San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
The Lakers are in a good spot currently as they have another max slot available in cap space to sign some players to fill around Lebron James although it’s unlikely they’ll be a top contender in the Western Conference for the 2018-19 season.
Should they maintain the flexibility towards next summer, the free agent class is projected to be stacked with Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, and potentially Kawhi Leonard as the top free agents available as of now.
For his run with the Cavaliers, his second tenure with the team was the most memorable in the history of Cleveland sports with four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and the franchise’s first NBA championship in 2016 which was also Cleveland’s first professional sports championship since 1964.
James leaves the Cavaliers organization as the all-time leader in these categories
- Games played
- Field Goals (Made & Attempted)
His exit this time around will be nothing compared to his exit in 2010. He came back home and fulfilled the promise to win a championship for the city and region and their should be no ill will towards him.
Yes, people are turning towards the letter he wrote upon his return in 2014 stating he wanted to finish his career here and that he wanted to be a role model towards kids in the area. He still can be a role model and will be.
His iPromise school opens in Akron in late July and he will no doubt be here for the opening of that because he’s been working towards that for the last few years. He’s paying $41 million for the kids in his iPromise program to go to college at the University of Akron tuition free.
As for finishing his career in Cleveland, things change obviously in everyone’s lives no matter what they might say or do. The relationship between himself and Dan Gilbert hasn’t always been the greatest and everyone knew that but they worked together because it was best for business.
It was time to move on and we should be thankful for the moments and memories that Lebron James has given Northeast Ohio for nearly two decades from the time he was in high school all the way through the end of his run with the Cavaliers.
Thank you Lebron and best of luck in Los Angeles.