LeBron James agrees to sign with Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James

Jason Miller Getty Images

Perennial news-breaker Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news a short time ago, citing a press release seemingly issued by Klutch Sports, the athlete agency that represents LeBron.

It's unlikely that LeBron ends up in Philly, but if nothing else the meeting is a reminder to the Lakers they are not alone in chasing No. 23 - he has options.

The 33-year-old James leaves his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time as a free agent after opting out of his deal on Friday.

The Lakers can offer top money plus talent and draft picks in order to surround James with competitive players enough to challenge the Warriors, who suddenly must contend with James as a Pacific division rival rather than a foe to be faced only twice a season and for the National Basketball Association title.

Los Angeles also provides James with a larger platform for his business interests and social activism.

James has dominated the Eastern Conference over the last eight seasons.

In addition to returning in 2014, James led the Cavaliers to their first championship - and his third - in 2016, a historic comeback from 3-1 down against the defending champion Warriors. Then, he returned to Cleveland with a Sports Illustrated essay.

After the news broke, James took to Instagram to deliver a farewell message to Cleveland. "This will always be home". His deal with the Lakers is his longest since he signed for six years with Miami in 2010.

The Lakers are now listed as the favorite, but it was the Cavs who spoke to LeBron right when free agency began.

He went into free agency following the season and was rumoured to be looking at leaving Cleveland.

And all those clubs - Golden State, Oklahoma City, Houston, the Lakers, even Denver by locking up Nikola Jokic for $150 million and Will Barton for $54 million - could definitively say they were thrilled. And if he jumps conferences for the first time in his career, the path to the Finals is far more treacherous. The Finals might as well be sponsored by PornHub if that's the case.

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