LeBron James and Lakers agree to 4-year deal

LeBron James and Lakers agree to 4-year deal

LeBron James and Lakers agree to 4-year deal

Cleveland has deep salary-cap issues - partially caused by James' failure to commit long-term - and the Cavs now lack enough talent to unseat the champion Golden State Warriors. The Lakers, rich with young talent, have always been chasing a co-star for LeBron.

James, born in Akron and drafted No. 1 by the Cavs in 2003, is leaving the Cavs for the second time in eight seasons.

The Lakers have positioned themselves with a massive amount of cap space to make noise this summer.

This move would likely still leave the Lakers with cap space even with the addition of James.

If true, this puts to bed long-simmering speculation about James' immediate future in the National Basketball Association, with previous reports suggesting that he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers once again. Because they own his "Bird rights" the Cavs can offer James more money than any other team - a five-year, $207 million deal. The Houston Rockets, headlined by James Harden and Chris Paul, seem poised to make another run this year after a 65-win season.

James will make $35.65 million next season.

In the end, James believed it was the right situation for him.

The bonanza started Saturday night when Durant made a decision to sign a two-year, $61.5 million deal with the stay with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, one where he'll make $30.5 million this season. Now that is no longer possible, and Los Angeles management can take a more measured approach when it comes to roster-building, secure in its knowledge that there isn't a more attractive destination. James loves the Hollywood lights, and with two homes in the Los Angeles area as well as a film production company, he has already established some roots in the land of movie stars and slow-moving traffic. Throw in the chance to stay in the familiar Eastern Conference and play for a storied franchise (James has frequently counted Julius Erving and Allen Iverson among his favorite all-time players), and the Sixers would have appeared to be near the top of the list.

Can the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors?

It also helps that the Lakers are one of the game's premier franchises.

If the Lakers do sign Cousins, reports indicate it would be on a short-term deal that would allow the team to assess how well he has recovered from his Achilles injury.

But even behind them there are teams with legitimate conference title aspirations, especially the Toronto Raptors, who have been eliminated from the playoffs by James and the Cavaliers for three straight seasons.

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