Los Angeles can collectively exhale. LeBron James is officially a Laker.
The club announced late Monday afternoon that James has put pen to paper on the reported four-year, $154 million deal, just as James’ representation, Klutch Sports Group, confirmed the news with a tweet of its own.
“Today is a great day for the Lakers organization and Lakers fans all over the world to welcome LeBron James, a three-time NBA Champion and four-time NBA MVP,” Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said in a statement. “LeBron is special. He is the best player in the world. He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful. The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to returning the Lakers to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”
James, 33, has averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in 1,143 career contests. He also has been named NBA Finals MVP three times. Last season was his first in which he played in all 82 regular-season games, and the eighth in a row in which his team advanced to the Eastern Conference finals (four in Miami before each of the last four seasons in Cleveland).
—The Denver Nuggets officially signed center Nikola Jokic and guard Will Barton to new deals, the team announced.
According to previous reports, Jokic’s max-level extension is worth $147.7 million over five years, while Barton’s is a four-year deal worth $54 million, with a player option in the fourth year. Jokic reportedly agreed to forgo the player option in exchange for the club declining their $1.6 million option for 2018-19.
The Nuggets also re-signed swingman Torrey Craig to a reported two-year, $4 million deal.
—The Clippers officially announced the re-signing of guard Avery Bradley, whose deal was reported last week as a two-year, $25 million pact.
Bradley, 27, appeared in six games with the Clippers after arriving in the Blake Griffin trade last season, averaging 9.2 points before having season-ending surgery to repair a sports hernia. Recognized as a top wing defender, Bradley has averaged 12.3 points over his eight NBA seasons, the first seven of which were with the Boston Celtics.
The Clippers also announced the signing of forward Mike Scott, who spent last season with Washington after five seasons in Atlanta. ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported the deal to be for one year and $4.3 million.
—The New Orleans Pelicans officially announced the additions of forward Julius Randle and guard Elfrid Payton, along with the re-signing of guard Ian Clark.
Randle’s deal was previously reported as a two-year, $18 million pact, while Payton and Clark signed one-year deals for $2.7 million and $1.76 million, respectively.
Randle and Payton were set to be restricted free agents with the Lakers and Suns, respectively, before their rights were renounced by their former teams, making them unrestricted free agents.
—Free agent center Kyle O’Quinn officially signed with the Indiana Pacers. The deal is reportedly for one year and $4.5 million.
O’Quinn opted out of his contract with the New York Knicks last month, which would have paid him $4.25 million in 2018-19.
After the signing Monday night, Q’Quinn took a shot at his former club, reportedly telling Indianapolis media, “I wanted to play for something more than next year’s draft.”
—Field Level Media