LeBron James has agreed to a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to a press release by Klutch Sports Group. The fourth year of the deal will include a player option for James.
The press release is the only news released by Klutch Sports Group; there’s no comment, press conference or videos from James or the Lakers, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
This marks the third time James has moved teams in free agency. Rumors have swirled since the beginning of the season that the three-time Finals MVP would be open to leaving Cleveland in another scenario where he would test free agency.
The Lakers were one of the seven teams, according to Stephen A. Smith, that James was considering this offseason. Other teams that pursued James included the Philadephia 76ers and the Houston Rockets. The 76ers reportedly met with representatives of James on the same day as the announcement that the three-time champion would be signing with the Lakers.
The four-time MVP joins a roster of young talent in Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram. Due to trades and offseason moves, the Lakers will likely have enough cap space to sign another max contract. Many suspected they would sign Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, but George has committed to signing a four-year deal with the Thunder nearly a day before James.
The Lakers have aggressively pursued Kawhi Leonard and will also pursue DeMarcus Cousins on a short-term max deal, according to Kevin O’Connor. And on Sunday, the Lakers met with Houston Rockets center Clint Capela, who is a restricted-free agent this summer.
The 33-year-old ended his 15th season in the NBA Finals with a loss in four games to the Golden State Warriors. James has faced the Warriors four-straight years in the Finals. Now, not only will he be in the same conference as his rivals; he’ll be in the same division.