National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James signs with LA Lakers

LeBron James is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers

However, the lure of Los Angeles and the glitz of the Lakers won out. In other words, would they and James be okay not contending for a championship this year if it meant adding Leonard next summer and keeping all of their young core?

The Los Angeles Lakers, with the addition of LeBron James, are suddenly top-tier contenders to win next season's National Basketball Association championship, according to Las Vegas sportsbooks.

Klutch Sports Group announced that the contract would pay James a fully guaranteed $154 million.

As anticipation grew that James would leave the Cavaliers for the Lakers, bets poured in on the Lakers over the past month.

On Friday, James formally became a free agent when he informed the Cavs he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent and the prize catch in the 2018 class.

The Lakers have agreed to free-agent deals with guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson and veteran center JaVale McGee, league sources told ESPN.

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Shortly after LeBron's agency broke the news of James signing with the Lakers, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Leonard remains focused on playing for L.A. James spent the first 15 years of his career in the Eastern Conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Los Angeles will also provide James with a larger platform for his business interests and social activism.

As has been the case in the past, James didn't have enough help as the Cavs were swept, dropping him to 3-6 in the NBA Finals - a record sometimes used to compare him to Michael Jordan.

LeBron James has guided his team to the NBA Finals in each of the past eight seasons. He's the next superstar to follow in the legacy that Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson built for the Lakers.

James' media ventures that include everything from product endorsements to running his own production company take place in Los Angeles.

With the Sixers though, he has a chance to become the franchise's most adored player since Allen Iverson and Dr J, and deliver the fanbase something that a lot of them have been waiting for their whole lives.

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