LeBron James returns to L.A. to plot his next move

LeBron James returns to L.A. to plot his next move

LeBron James has confirmed the long-percolating rumors that he'd be moving out west, agreeing to a four-year deal worth $154 million with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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

Despite his advancing years and the wear and tear on his body, James remains the game's most dominant player - and one of sports highest-paid.

Bryant's $1.38 million contract for next season would have become fully guaranteed next week. And if the National Basketball Association decides to scrap its current one-and-done draft requirement, the rule that stipulates draft hopefuls must be at least one year removed from High School, then the possibility of James Jr being drafted straight out of High School becomes very much a live option. He previously played in Los Angeles with the Clippers in 2015-16.

The Lakers jerseys will ship seven to 10 days after James officially signs his contract.

Earlier Sunday, James had contact with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were hoping to hang onto the best player in franchise history.

His agency revealed he was heading for Los Angeles. Cleveland could choose to keep him and build around him as well, although he has two years left on his deal and likely wants to continue competing for titles at this stage of his career.

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. Pic: GettyIn his time with the Cavs, James managed to bring a championship to Cleveland. While there had been dialogue between Paul and Altman since the season ended, James had not given the team any sense of his plans.

In a tone and tenor much different than his letter to Cavs fans following James' stunning move to Miami in 2010, the Cavs owner sent a message of gratitude to his former player.

But the Warriors obtained Kevin Durant after that loss and Golden State has gone 8-1 against the Cavs in the two NBA Finals since.

"The acquisition of LeBron James means that the Lakers are just a smidgen away from being real contenders", Lakers icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar added. The Lakers can afford to be patient in building the team, even if James wasn't on board.