With LeBron, Lakers suddenly a betting favorite

LeBron James to join Lakers for $154 million over 4 years

LeBron James to join Lakers for $154 million over 4 years

The biggest free agent mystery is over. The NBA's online store is already selling Lakers jerseys with James' name on the back.

Cleveland was unceremoniously swept by the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals.

James did not pick up his option Friday with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he led to its fourth straight National Basketball Association finals this year, only to be swept by the Golden State Warriors in four games. The kid is only 20 years old and is trending toward being an All-Star-caliber player very shortly. He helped the Lakers to the NBA Finals four times in five seasons, including winning the 1972 NBA title.

He'll never be able to match Jordan's flawless six wins and six Finals MVPs in six tries, but a couple more titles and his record for franchise-building and his sustained statistical excellence will be hard to dismiss. This is not adversity. Gordon Hayward. The road to the NBA Finals just became much smoother for everybody in the East, notably Boston. His high school games were shown on ESPN and often moved to a college gymnasium to meet ticket demands.

James had one of his best seasons in 2017-18, playing all 82 games for the first time and averaging 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists, while making 54.2% of his shots and 36.7% of his 3-point attempts. The Cavs might as well start rebuilding, and he's their best trade asset aside from first-round draft pick Collin Sexton.

The bombshell announcement changes the scope of both the Eastern and Western Conferences as the Lakers look to re-emerge as championship contenders - and Los Angeles didn't stop at adding James. Leonard, who's still under contract with the San Antonio Spurs for one more season, has been open about his desire to play in Los Angeles. They faced off in the playoffs several times in one of the most entertaining postseason rivalries, which dates back to James' days with the Miami Heat in 2012.

Then came another shocker. Pic: GettyIn his time with the Cavs, James managed to bring a championship to Cleveland.

Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers addresses the media during practice and media availability as part of the 2018 NBA Finals on June 07, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

In LeBron's four years with Miami, coach Erik Spoelstra found the right balance between letting James and co. take over the game and coach themselves while also providing brilliant after-timeout (ATO) plays and offensive sets to showcase James' talents.

"I still want to be in championship mode".

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