The Lakers were always tipped to be James' most likely destination during free agency, with the 33-year-old repeatedly linked with a move to the Western Conference giants over the course of a hard season in Cleveland.
Sunday, James chose a different path.
After news broke Sunday evening that James is headed to Los Angeles, the Westgate SuperBook reopened the Lakers at 9-2 to win next year's title. G-League player Gary Payton II wore it in his 11 games with the team last season.
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James helped Cleveland to their first National Basketball Association title in 2016, as they overturned a 3-1 deficit in the National Basketball Association finals to beat Golden State. It will grow in importance over time as the Cavaliers sink back into irrelevancy.
In short, there's a reasonable chance that LeBron James could wind up playing in the National Basketball Association either with - or far more interestingly, against - his own dang son.
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Another factor pundits considered behind James' move west was the opportunity to link up with a young roster, including 2017's number-two draft pick Lonzo Ball and Germany's Isaac Bonga, which could ensure he wouldn't have to carry the team like he did in Cleveland.
During four seasons at South Beach, James and co won two championships before the OH native chose to return home to help the Cavaliers win a title.
The scenario I've outlined where the Lakers sign nothing but one-year deals this summer would leave L.A. with something like $25 million in cap space in 2019 with Deng on the books.
Bryant isn't willing to get into that right now.
One can hardly blame James for making the move, though.
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On Monday, Randle agreed to a two-year, $18 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans , according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski . Heading into free agency one of the more compelling storylines the Los Angeles Lakers faced was with Julius Randle .
Jenkins also reported that Johnson came to James' Brentwood home late on Saturday night.
Today, James is taking that self-determination to another level.
Snoop Dogg, The Game, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and T.I. are just a few of the people who've tweeted to welcome "King James" to Los Angeles.
Of the trio, Stephenson's name immediately jumps out as a surprise as he's had a long-standing rivalry with James.
After missing the playoffs only twice between 1976 and 2013, the Lakers have not made an appearance in the postseason since, as they looked to slowly rebuild a winning side and LeBron's arrival is expected to kick-start the process. But that wasn't the determining factor here. But in going there, he decided it was time to ensure he was happy, too.
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