That improvement could come in the form of Kawhi Leonard, who still wants out of San Antonio and particularly for the Spurs to trade him to one of the two Los Angeles teams. He didn't come to LA to win 48 games a year and make it past the first-round of the playoffs. As it had been with the release of Tyler Ulis, the writing was on the wall for some time that LeBron was taking his talents to Will Rogers Beach in Los Angeles.
Kevin Love has been one of the Cleveland Cavaliers' "big three" over the last few years, but times are changing. After leading the Cavaliers to the 2016 National Basketball Association championship, the OH native has now left Cleveland as a free agent for the second time in his career. Philadelphia has young stars in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to entice James, who was flattered earlier this year when a company erected billboards in OH urging him to join the Sixers.
The futility of a sweep loss to Golden State last month set the stage for James, who could not carry the outmatched Cavaliers to a single victory. Reports have linked them to other players like DeMarcus Cousins or Nerlens Noel, but neither is the type of player that would swing the balance of power in the West from the Golden State Warriors' hands. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been finalized.
In the two weeks following the Finals, James held three meetings at home with his closest advisors, in which they attempted to peg free-agent destinations where he might be able to satisfy his family and eventually vault his nemesis.
Baynes had 19 double-figure scoring games last season for Boston, including playoffs - and the Celtics went 17-2 in those games.
The Lakers can offer top money plus talent and draft picks in order to surround James with competitive players enough to challenge the Warriors, who suddenly must contend with James as a Pacific division rival rather than a foe to be faced only twice a season and for the National Basketball Association title. Then James called Koby Altman as soon as he got off the phone with Johnson. Instead of him leaving in his prime with no rings to speak of, he's now leaving after bringing a championship back to Cleveland. Klay Thompson, for instance, will be a free agent after next year and given that his father Mychael was a forward on the last two of Johnson and Riley's Laker title teams as well as a current Lakers broadcast commentator, Klay could be a flawless fit alongside James in LA. The 33-year-old is not expected to drag out a decision that could reshape the league's landscape.