We’ll always have the 8 hours when it looked like Lebron James was going to sign with the Sixers. Despite his agent meeting with Brett Brown, Josh Harris, David Blitzer, and the rest of the Philadelphia pitch team today, James will be signing a 4-year, $154M deal to join the Lakers.
LeBron James has agreed to 4-year, $154M deal with Lakers, Klutch Sports says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
The four years is certainly a surprise, as most people believed that regardless of destination, LeBron would continue following some semblance of the 1-year plus 1-year player option contract structure he has employed in recent years. The long-term commitment would appear to reflect certainty on his mind that Los Angeles is the right place for him and his family.
With this setback in free agency, the Sixers can turn their full attention to trade negotiations with the Spurs for Kawhi Leonard. LeBron spurning Philadelphia could cause them to up the ante in an attempt to secure one elite player this offseason in Kawhi, or it could cause them to pause, with the realization that Leonard might have been more likely to stick around with LeBron in town. Reports are indicating the Sixers may want to lean toward the latter approach.
Sources: As trade talks have unfolded, Kawhi Leonard’s focus is unchanged: He wants to be a Laker. https://t.co/0wZGf5MrNt— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 2, 2018
Two down, one to go in the big offseason sweepstakes. At least the Eastern Conference got a heck of a lot easier today.