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Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James has signed a four-year $153.3 million deal to join the Los Angeles Lakers next season.
James spearheaded the Cleveland Cavaliers into four consecutive finals appearances that included a titular victory in 2016. He was coming off a stellar season averaging 27.5 points per game.
The 14-time NBA All-Star led his team in this year’s finals before eventually losing to the Golden State Warriors in four hard-fought games. Nonetheless, James has been a steady force in the storied history of the Cavaliers, leading the team in major statistical categories such as games points, rebounds, assists, steals, and total games played.
“Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons. This will always be home,” James said in an Instagram post.
James is set to make at least $35 million in the first three years of his contract before receiving a $41 million payday in his last year. It is also the longest deal James inked since signing a six-year deal with the Miami Heat in 2010.
The 33-year-old superstar bagged the MVP award with the Cavaliers and the Heat. Should he win another MVP, James will be the first athlete in the checkered history of the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB to win a single MVP award with three different squads.
Additionally, a title-victory with the LA Lakers would make James one of only three players in history to win a championship with three teams. James won the 2012 and 2013 crowns with the Heat before helping the Cavaliers win the title, two years ago.
James Joins Up-And-Coming Stars
The 15-year veteran will be joining a crop of young stars in the City of Angels including court general Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart. James is expected to provide veteran leadership into this LA Lakers squad which is the second-youngest team in the league.
Besides James, the LA Lakers have also strengthened their core by signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Lance Stephenson to one-year deals. Caldwell-Pope will be paid $12.5 million while Stephenson is set to receive $4.5 million.
The LA Lakers have also signed JaVale McGee to a minimum deal which is valid for a single year. The team also closed a deal with first-round draft selection Moritz Wagner last Sunday.
After signing James, the LA Lakers are also expected to make a run at San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard who has expressed interest in joining the team. Reports around the league suggest that the Spurs want a plethora of players from the LA Lakers for Leonard.
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