LA fans, businesses prepare for impact of new Lakers star LeBron James

03 July, 2018, 07:20 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana University product excelled for the Lakers' G League affiliate but averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds in 15 appearances for Los Angeles.

The 33-year-old forward leaves the Cavaliers to join an iconic franchise that has won 16 National Basketball Association titles but is rebuilding after posting a losing record for five consecutive seasons. Pundits said the Lakers were obviously one of the early favorites to land James after the leader of the Cleveland Cavaliers declined his 35.6 million U.S dollar player option for the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season. McGee has played the past two years for the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers are only prepared to offer one-year deals this summer in order to keep enough cap room available for 2019 when more marquee free agents become available.

After the Westgate re-opened betting on the title yesterday after stopping as free agency tipped off, the Lakers had 9-2 odds thanks to the addition of LeBron James. The team was projected to have a little under $50 million to hand out.

James will make $25.65 million next season.

Getting back to annual title contention, which is a given with James, will be hard.

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This is the third time in eight years James has changed teams. They were 48-11 against Eastern Conference clubs in the playoffs. It also helps that the Lakers are one of the game's premier franchises.

On Sunday evening, the Lakers were 8/1 to secure their first NBA Finals victory since 2010.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has chronicled LeBron's career from its pages, and to see the progression over the years from the paper's front page is strangely touching. Paul informed the Cavs on Friday morning that the four-time MVP would not opt in to the final year of his contract; he was scheduled to make $35.6 million in 2018-19.

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.

"Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible four seasons", said James on his Instagram account.

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