We are less than 24 hours into the NBA Free Agency period, but the biggest news we will hear all month was just announced: LeBron James is signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal is a 4-year deal worth $154M, with a player option in the last year of the deal.
The initial reaction to LeBron’s decision has been mixed (unless you are a Lakers fan). LeBron joins a young, inexperienced Laker team that won only 35 games last year behind the core roster Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Julius Randle (who is a restricted free agent as of now). He will also be playing in the Western Conference for the first time in his career and will face the Warriors and Rockets in the post-season. That’s if the Lakers even make the playoffs. They currently have no current or former All-Stars on the roster and will find themselves learning how to play and win as the season goes on. Many analysts, including myself, see the LeBron-led Lakers team as a projected 5-6 seed in the West.
However, with LeBron at the helm of the ship for the Lakers, anything is possible. He is the best player in the game today and will surely attract more talent to Los Angeles. Disgruntled Spurs star Kawhi Leonard has already made it known he wants to be a Laker and will surely want that even more now that LeBron is in town.
LeBron signing in LA also could mean he is beginning to focus on life after basketball. He has his hands in many other areas of life, areas that he will able to do not easily in Los Angeles.
Either way, LeBron is headed to his third and potentially the last team of his career on a rebuilding team that now has championship aspirations. Whether it goes well or not no one knows, but everyone already knows it will be interesting.