Big changes in NBA Title odds with James' move to L.A.

Big changes in NBA Title odds with James' move to L.A.

The 33-year-old, whose teams have represented the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association final for the past eight seasons, has agreed to a four-year, $154-million contract (all figure U.S.) with the storied Lakers franchise.

This also means that, for the first time in his career, LeBron will be playing in the NBA's Western Conference, eliminating the chance of next year's NBA Finals being a fifth-consecutive showdown between the Golden State Warriors and whatever side LeBron is on.

The Philadelphia 76ers, whose young star Ben Simmons has the same agent as James, were also in the hunt, hoping to build a potential triple threat alongside the reigning Rookie of the Year and All-Star center Joel Embiid.

The NBA's most glamorous team has landed LeBron James, his agency confirmed on Twitter Sunday (Monday, Manila time).

WHY: Salary-cap space; business interests; iconic franchise. After bolting from Cleveland in 2010, he returned in an emotional homecoming four years later, determined to make the Cavs champions. This ended more than a year of rumors that LeBron would be headed to the Lakers, and the deal may kick off even more fireworks for the Lakers.

On Friday, James formally became a free agent when he informed the Cavs he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent and the prize catch in the 2018 class. It is unclear how many of them will actually play with James rather than being included in a trade.

The bonanza started Saturday night when Durant chose to sign a two-year, $61.5 million deal with the stay with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, one where he'll make $30.5 million this season. Los Angeles might not look like a title contender now, especially in a world where the Golden State Warriors exist, but - in James' estimation, presumably - it will.

Within minutes of James' decision, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on "SportsCenter" that one team executive already texted him about playoff reform.

He flew to Los Angeles on Saturday, creating a frenzy without saying a word.

The 33-year-old made a decision to opt out of the final year of his contract in Cleveland and will join the prestigious purple and yellow to play in the Western Conference for the first time.

He is, however, a talisman for winning, both in Miami and with the Cavaliers, and his presence alone as the most singularly dominant player in the game turns the Lakers into a factor. "This will always be home", LeBron wrote on his Instagram story.

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