Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Derrick Favors gets 2-year deal to stay in Utah

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Kenneth Drake | 03 July, 2018, 01:14

The Lakers have failed to make the play-offs for the last five seasons.

Today is the first day of National Basketball Association free agency and players have made moves that many did not expect. Now that it's Monday, the local newspapers in Cleveland can appropriately say goodbye to their star and hometown product, and those in Los Angeles can welcome their new free agent acquisition with the fanfare he deserves.

One of them is Lance Stephenson, who famously blew into LeBron's ear during a playoff game, creating a meme and being immortalised in a Nicki Minaj lyric. Stephenson, however, did still show last season in IN that he is capable of providing a spark on the bench and will likely be a limited contributor in that capacity this coming season.

This is a marked difference from how things went with the Cleveland Cavaliers when James returned in 2014.

The fact the Lakers are second-favorite to win the title next season is even more remarkable considering they last became NBA champions in 2010, also the previous year in which they reached the NBA Finals.

LeBron James during Game Four of the 2018 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 8, 2018 in Cleveland.

"Thank you Northeast Ohio for an incredible 4 seasons". He thanked Cavaliers fans in an Instagram post, saying the city will always be his home.

Los Angeles ranked as the top sales market for James jerseys.


The team, which has enough salary-cap space to sign him and another star player, is still said to be in pursuit of Kawhi Leonard.

Although it was mostly Lakers revelry Sunday night, a handful of Cavaliers stood on the perimeter - "This is a funeral, " one bemoaned - and Drake Heidepriem was among those caught in the middle.

This is the third time in eight years James has changed teams.

That's made it tough for Cleveland to upgrade its roster, but the Cavs remain committed to bringing back James even for just one more year.

LeBron is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, but has notably less Championship wins than the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to back that up.

James will make $25.65 million next season. Agent Rich Paul is expected to contact several teams with the Lakers and Cavs atop his list.

There's a risk in waiting for Leonard, as the Lakers just saw this summer.

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