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But for now, the Lakers have secured free agency's most coveted player.

James signed with the Lakers just hours after opting out of the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers. Lance Stephenson is also headed to Staples Center. Stephenson, however, did still show last season in IN that he is capable of providing a spark on the bench and will likely be a limited contributor in that capacity this coming season.

That mission was accomplished when the Cavaliers won the 2016 crown with James in the starring role as Cleveland celebrated a sports champion for the first time in 52 years.

Earlier Sunday, James had contact with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are hoping to hang onto the best player in franchise history.

The Cavs played 81 postseason games - one contest shy of an entire regular season - the last four years, winning 55 of them.

In his four years back with his home state team, the 33-year-old Akron, Ohio native led the Cavs to four straight NBA Finals appearances.

But that has more to do with playing on the best team in the league with a crowded frontcourt and a coach who deployed small lineups with Draymond Green at the 5 most of the time.

"Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons".


The star-studded free agent class included DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George and James' longtime friend Chris Paul.

The Lakers had a large amount of cap space to work with. "This will always be home".

Caldwell-Pope, who's represented by the same agent as LeBron, spent last season in L.A. and will re-sign on a $12 million deal.

James informed the Cavaliers on Friday that he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option.

Many have already wondered what the NBA Finals might look like without James taking on the Warriors every year.

Embiid posted a message on Twitter that seemed to be directed at No. 23 and what it might be like to walk in the footsteps of Lakers legends like Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Shaquille O'Neal.

When Las Vegas sportsbooks like the Westgate SuperBook first posted odds for next season, the Lakers were installed with a 20-1 shot to win the National Basketball Association championship and those odds, or similar ones, held up until this weekend.


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