LeBron James signs with Lakers just months after leaving Cavaliers
LeBron James is a renowned basketball player in his 16th season in the NBA. This summer he signed a 154 million dollar four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, soon after becoming a free agent from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James is coming off last season averaging 27.5 points, 9.1 assists, and 8.6 rebounds. As he hit free agency this summer and is arguably one of the best players in the NBA, there was a lot of speculation about where he could end up. A lot of the rumors lacked facts.
When speculating where an NBA player can end up, especially a superstar such as “King James,” one must consider a team’s salary cap space. Apparently, few teams had the cash to pay for James' talent. The Lakers and 76ers were reportedly the only teams with the potential cap space to sign him outright, and the Cavaliers had first dibs. With Cleveland having that privilege, of course we heard that Lebron James refused a $35.6 million contract from them.
Another factor that played a part in James’ decision was the relationship he would have with teammates and how the season would affect his legacy.
Although the 76ers have two superstars on their team, they are young and reportedly miss too many games. So, when Rich Paul discusses James’ decision he mentions aspects of their relationship with Magic Johnson.
Rich Paul discussing the “The King” proclaims that Johnson had a similar struggle as James. Paul said, “Magic understands what it’s like to be LeBron. He was a 6’9’’ point guard. He was MVP. But he was also known as 'Tragic Johnson.' His stumbles against Boston were every bit as severe as James’s in 2011 against Dallas.”
Knowing that information, it makes sense that he would sign to the Lakers. Paul also killed the rumors that James was driven to expand his Hollywood empire or spark an overnight super team.