Lakers rise on National Basketball Association championship odds, Raptors remain steady

LeBron James Chrissy Teigen

LeBron James to join Los Angeles Lakers in $154m deal

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 14, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

James, a two-time Olympic champion, left Cleveland before in 2010 for the Miami Heat, where he reached the NBA Finals four times, going 2-2, before departing for the Cavaliers, vowing to bring a title to Cleveland, his home region having grown up in nearby Akron.

The deal for the three-times National Basketball Association champion gives the Lakers a stability that his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, did not enjoy in recent years as James opted for shorter-term contacts when he returned to the Cavs in 2014 after four seasons in Miami.

James and the Cavaliers had been beaten in 3 out of 4 NBA Finals against the Warriors since 2015.

"The one thing that I've always done is consider my family, understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age", James announced after the Cavaliers' June 8 loss.

And Bryant is willing to help James out in any way he can to help one of the NBA's most storied franchises return to past glories.

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This was similar to the performances against Costa Rica and Serbia last week when they did just about enough to win. Neymar went on to add that he's sole focus is helping the Selecao lift their record sixth World title.

"As trade talks have unfolded, Kawhi Leonard's focus is unchanged: He wants to be a Laker", ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted after James' move to California was announced.

LeBron James is trading in his hometown jersey and will trek to Los Angeles.

The power forward shot 45.8% from the field, and served as a nice complement to the all-around playing style of LeBron James.

While waiting for Leonard to become a free agent next summer would allow the Lakers to hold onto their young players, it would leave the door open to a repeat of the scenario L.A. endured with George.

Before signing with the Lakers, James was also linked to the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets.

Waiving and stretching Deng then would get the Lakers to about $37 million in projected space, more than enough to make a max offer to players with seven to nine years of experience.

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