LeBron James has finally settled on his new destination, signing a four-year, USA $154 million (AUD $208 million) deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Players with 7-9 years of experience, can earn a max salary of $30.3 million. The Rockets were tantalisingly close to a trip to the NBA Finals this spring, and Paul's coming back to get over that hump. The Lakers are continuing to court other big-name free agents this summer.
Then the Lakers tied themselves up with bloated and long contracts to Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, suffocating their own future. From there, Los Angeles would have some roster shuffling to do to add a key second piece.
The 76ers have also been engaged in talks with the San Antonio Spurs on a potential Kawhi Leonard trade, and so far, they have kept three players off-limits in talks, team sources told ESPN: Embiid, Simmons and Markelle Fultz.
Much like the Lakers, the Sixers lack postseason experience and James would be surrounded by players who have barely tasted the postseason. Vegas also has the Lakers as the favorites. More big moves in the West are possible, especially with DeMarcus Cousins still available in free agency and a candidate to return to New Orleans. James will not attend the meeting, according to Wojnarowski.
As things stand now, Smith's projections have the Lakers with $59.96 million of cap space for 2019.
The 33-year-old forward leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers to join an iconic franchise that has won 16 National Basketball Association titles but is rebuilding after posting a losing record for five consecutive seasons.
They're likely going to re-sign Rodney Hood, who averaged 16.8 points per game in a featured role with the Utah Jazz last season, with James gone.
And if there was ever any doubt, LeBron just confirmed it himself: He is a Cavalier no more. Short contracts are the new normal. James loves the Hollywood lights, and with two homes in the Los Angeles area as well as a film production company, he has already established some roots in the land of movie stars and slow-moving traffic. ESPN reported he is signing a four-year deal that will be worth US$160 million.