After announcing July 1 his intentions to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers through his sports agency Klutch Sports , the team’s new All-Star forward LeBron James made good on his promise Monday by officially signing the agreed upon 4-year, $154 million contract. Speculation ran wild at the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season of where James would sign, but in direct contrast to his first departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers, James didn’t wanted this process to be short and sweet.
— Klutch Sports Group (@KlutchSports) July 10, 2018
“This is a historic moment for the Lakers, and we could not feel more grateful and honored,” Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka said in the Lakers’ press release. “When LeBron James – a perennial NBA MVP and champion who is playing at the most astonishing levels of his career – chooses to join the Lakers, it serves as the ultimate validation for what we are building here. However, we all know that the work is not yet done. We will continue forward and do all that is necessary to achieve our shared obsession of bringing banner No. 17 to the world’s best fans – Lakers Nation.”
Echoing Pelinka’s sentiment, team president Earvin “Magic” Johnson couldn’t help but throw praise James’ way.
“Today is a great day for the Lakers organization and Lakers fans all over the world to welcome LeBron James, a three-time NBA Champion and four-time NBA MVP,” said Lakers President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “LeBron is special. He is the best player in the world. He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful. The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 10, 2018
The team already has a promising young core of players such as guard Lonzo Ball, and forwards Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma and have added veteran names to the mix such as guards Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson. While this team is still taking shape, the Lakers along with the rest of the league are bracing for the $7 million jump in the salary cap next season as well as the 2019 free agent class headlined by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
We understand we have two summers to add to what we’re building here.” Johnson stated on the team’s website. “I told you before this is not going to get turned around overnight. We’re building something. We want sustainability.”.