It’s official. The Decision 3.0 has been made. The undisputed best player in the NBA, LeBron James, has agreed to terms on a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal is reportedly a 4 year deal worth $154 million, with a player option on the 4th year.
After the LeBron to LA hype train took off this season and the doubts that came along with it, it seems it was worth the wait for Lakers fans. LeBron stated all season that this decision will be more about his family than any other free agency decision he has made as his gets approach their high school years. A lot of LeBron’s business ventures (including his own entertainment company) are also in Los Angeles.
This is also interesting in regards to the Kawhi Leonard trade talks. Now that the Lakers have acquired LeBron, they might be more willing to give up assets to the Spurs in a trade. With LeBron on the team, you need win-now players like Kawhi Leonard, not prospects like Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram. I expect Kawhi to be traded to the Lakers soon, as he still states that the Lakers are his preferred destination and they have the most assets to offer to the Spurs.
Magic Johnson just might have seismically changed the landscape of the NBA by acquiring James. With LeBron dominating the East since 2010, a non-LeBron Eastern Conference team is going to the NBA Finals this year. The Boston Celtics and Philidelphia 76ers are most likely ecstatic with this news, as it opens up the Eastern Conference for them to be heavy favorites going forward to go to the Finals.
Going forward, look to see the Lakers bring in players at the veteran minimum, as Lebron loves to bring in spot-up shooters with a lot of NBA experience. However, if the Lakers really want to make some noise in the West, a Kawhi-Lebron pairing could make them a contender for years to come.