LeBron James makes his choice, signs 4-year deal with the Lakers

Cleveland Cavaliers' Le Bron James watches during the first half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in Cleveland. Two people familiar with the decision say James has tol

This time around, LeBron leaving feels a lot difference.

He's about to dive into free agency.

The Lakers have the most cap space of any National Basketball Association team in the league, giving them ultimate flexibility when constructing a team for next season.According to Hoops Rumors, a free agent like LeBron James, i.e. any player with 10+ years of experience, can make a max salary of $35.35 million next season. And James' decision to come aboard on a long-term deal gives them more leverage in trade negotiations right now.

The deal is for four years and $154 million with a player option in the fourth year. He delivered in 2016, erasing past sins and raising James to a worshipped level few athletes in any sport have experienced. ESPN reported he is signing a four-year deal that will be worth $160 million.

WHY NOT: Flawed roster; blemished relationship with owner Dan Gilbert. Only, when he returned to the Cavs in 2014, he said at least four times he would not do this very thing - leave the Cavs again.

James led the Cavs to four straight NBA Finals, helping them to their first championship in 52 years, but could not prevent them being swept 4-0 by the Golden State Warriors last month. Gilbert has gone above and beyond financial barriers to appease James, but the well could be running dry.

The Lakers have positioned themselves with a massive amount of cap space to make noise this summer.

That's with the Lakers having nearly $50m in cap space to add experience to their crop of young talent in the likes of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball.

Even the Los Angeles Rams extended their welcome to James. The appeal of playing for one of the league's most storied teams is another allure. He's also taken his talents to a conference that put his streak of reaching eight consecutive NBA Finals at risk but allows him a greater chance of improving his Finals record.

There's little doubt James has some quality years ahead of him.

But money and years of security were less a concern than being able to play for a title contender.

The 33-year-old chose 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.

WHY: Rising team; staying in the East.

The bonanza started Saturday night when Durant made a decision 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.

WHY NOT: Too young; front-office dysfunction. Since the Lakers announcement fans have been taking to Twitter to share their excitement about the film.

If the Lakers do sign Cousins, reports indicate it would be on a short-term deal that would allow the team to assess how well he has recovered from his Achilles injury.

James informed the Cavaliers on Friday that he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option. James, who was in Los Angeles, is also being pursued by the Lakers, who have enough salary-cap space to sign him and another star player.

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