LeBron James Has Decided (but) Won’t Announce Until Tuesday

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

There was no indication of whether the Lakers planned to give him any say over the roster, but that could be an important factor given that LeBron ended his free agency in less than 20 hours and could help shape the team's strategy going forward. He returned to the Cavs in 2014 after four seasons in Miami. Both L.A. and Northern Ohio are home to James, and he has no such connection with the City of Brotherly Love. But he vowed to do everything he could to deliver a title to championship-starved Cleveland.

The superstar will sign with the Lakers, choosing them over the Cavaliers and the Sixers, among other teams who coveted the NBA's best player. It's a four-year, $137 million max contract with a player option, per Wojnarowski.

"LeBron James, four time NBA MVP, three-time NBA finals MVP, 14-time NBA All-Star, and two-time Olympic gold medallist, has agreed to a four-year $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers", James' management company Klutch Sports Group said in a statement. The appeal of playing for one of the league's most storied teams is another allure.

There's little doubt James has some quality years ahead of him.

WHY: Rising team; staying in the East. The Rockets, for example, were likely hoping for James to opt in so they could facilitate a trade to bring him to Houston with Paul and James Harden. And in that scenario, the Sixers would probably still have enough pieces to at least make a competitive offer to the Spurs for Leonard. That one year option is the one he has made a decision to knock back.

The Sixers offered James a chance to play alongside budding, young stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as well as stay in the Eastern Conference, where the path to the NBA Finals is far easier than out West.

What's notable about his tweet is the acknowledgment that the Lakers are just a "smidgen away from being real contenders.' This pretty much hints that the Lakers are definitely signing more pieces in the coming days". James will be joining a Lakers core that includes Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and possibly Julis Randle.

There are those that believe Philadelphia remains a long shot to sign James, even if they do pull off a trade with San Antonio.

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