July 1st is not only Canada Day, but its free agency day in the NBA and NHL and what a day it's been for major moves. On the hockey front, the Toronto Maple Leafs invested $77 million for seven years of the native 27-year-old centreman John Tavares, but in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers are making damn sure they don't miss out on another playoff appearance.
The Lakers have just signed LeBron James for four years at $154 million, one of the most lucrative deals the league has ever seen. Proving rumors of LeBron leaving his home town (again) to head to LA true, the Lakers are making other moves too.
The Lakers put Thomas Bryant on waivers, signed guard Malik Newman to a two-way contract, and signed center Moritz Wagner, the 25th overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft. The move for LeBron (which we can call "The Decision 3" do the publicity around his team choices) comes after a crushing NBA Finals defeat for his home team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, against the Golden State Warriors.
Why Did Lebron James Leave Cleveland Again?
LeBron joins Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma and LA still has cap room to make another move. But what we're all really wondering about is when we're going to hear more about Space Jam 2, which was reportedly going to get its first trailer released by LeBron James during all the hype via his own Instagram TV app. This is all just business and publicity, after all.
ESPN shared some interesting statistics about LeBron, the Lakers, and the movie:
- This is the 3rd time LeBron James has changed teams after a top-3 MVP finish. It's happened 3 other times in NBA history, once by Moses Malone, Wilt Chamberlain and Lenny Wilkens.
- The Lakers have not made the playoffs in 5 straight seasons, the longest such streak in franchise history.
- LeBron James has made the NBA Finals in 8 consecutive seasons.
- With LeBron joining, 6 of the top-8 scorers in NBA History will have played for the Lakers.
- LeBron will be coached by Luke Walton, who was drafted 31 picks after him in 2003.
- There's been over $1 billion spent in the NBA today.
News on Space Jam 2 has been super scarce every since director Justin Lin provided updates on it a year ago.