LeBron James has agreed to a four-year contract worth more than $150 million with the Los Angeles Lakers, Klutch Sports Group announced on Sunday. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 and left the team in 2010 to go to the Miami Heat.
The Los Angeles Lakers would certainly have the capital to sign Cousins, especially after Paul George opted to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder rather than make his expected move to Los Angeles.
James is considered a rival of retired Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan for the title of greatest player in National Basketball Association history.
Never-the-less, Cleveland still has the advantage to woo back James: The team can offer a max contract of $207 million over five years, compared to the $152 million over four years he could receive from another team. The All-Star is unhappy and spent much of the season injured but refused to even attend his team's play-off games from the sidelines.
Cleveland's roster was exposed during this year's finals, and James may not have seen a way for it to improve enough to win a fourth title. Clint Capela and others with six years or less in the league can make a max salary of $25.25 million for the 2018-19 season.
But despite claiming the Eastern Conference crown for a fourth straight year, James was given a blunt reminder of how far short the Cavs are of a championship caliber team when they were swept 4-0 by the Warriors in the Finals. He's the next superstar to follow in the legacy that Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson built for the Lakers.
James can sign his deal on Friday when the National Basketball Association moratorium ends. James will also be good for young, promising players like Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma - should they all remain. The back page was headlined "Promise Kept" with a photo of James holding his Finals MVP trophy. He also set career-highs in rebounds (9.1 per game), assists (8.6 per game) and appearances (82 games).
He flew to Los Angeles on Saturday, creating a frenzy without saying a word.