Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

LeBron James to wear No. 23 with Lakers

LeBron James to wear No. 23 with Lakers

James announced that he has made a decision to play for the Lakers on a four-year deal worth $154 million, with a short, subdued press release sent out on the Twitter account belonging to Klutch Sports. Players with 7-9 years of experience, can earn a max salary of $30.3 million.

Even without Paul George, who agreed to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, that makes the Lakers an instant contender.

After three years living rent-free in the minds of the Raptors and eight years bullying the Eastern Conference as a whole - splintering teams like dry wood, getting coaches fired, disenfranchising fan bases - LeBron James is no longer the Raptors' problem, or the East's.

Entering his 16th National Basketball Association season, James had been with the Cavs for 11 of them with a four-year break at the Miami Heat in 2010-2014. Pic: GettyIn his time with the Cavs, James managed to bring a championship to Cleveland. The team was projected to have a little under $50 million to hand out.

Julius Randle could be back with the Lakers on a one-year deal, or if he signs the qualifying offer because there are not other offers out there (it's a very tight market), but the Lakers are not sacrificing their cap space for anyone.

James informed the Cavaliers on Friday that he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option.

For the last five seasons, the Lakers have missed the playoffs.

If it doesn't, James' transition to off-court mogul will come sooner than later. Currently, the rule serves as a way to force players to either complete one year of college basketball in the U.S., or travel overseas to play in an worldwide pro league for one season. They drafted the teenage sensation from Akron in 2003 and have to be satisfied with winning just one title in the 11 years they had him.

Many have already wondered what the NBA Finals might look like without James taking on the Warriors every year.

While his wife and children were out of town for an AAU tournament, James was at his OH mansion pondering his next career move and how to top the champion Golden State Warriors, Jenkins writes.

Western Conference teams have won seven of the last 10 league championships.

Afterward, James yelled, "Cleveland, this is for you", into Doris Burke's microphone. "The odds have been stacked up against me since I was an adolescent", James said at this year's NBA Finals.

"Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons", said James on his Instagram account.

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