Amico: LeBron off to Lakers, Cavs still here. What now?

For the third time, yes, LeBron James is switching teams.

After leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to four straight appearances in the Finals, and the Miami Heat to four straight before that, James will try his hand in the Western Conference … as his agency announced on Instagram that James is headed to the Los Angeles Lakers.

After leading the Cavaliers to their lone championship in 2016, James clearly felt it’s no longer about just basketball.

He wants to plant a flag in Hollywood. And at 33 years old, that may not be such a bad idea. Everyone needs to prepare for retirement.

According to reports, James has agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers for $154 million.

Year 1 could potentially be his greatest challenge. The Lakers weren’t very good last season. They are awfully young. The Golden State Warriors are an absolute basketball beast.

Oh, and the Lakers are the team with Lonzo Ball’s dad hanging around and running his mouth. If you think LeBron alone can create a circus atmosphere, just wait until you get a load of LeBron AND LaVar.

None of this is to say James is mailing it in. He wants to win. The Lakers could still land some top-notch free agent, such as DeMarcus Cousins. They could still swing a trade, maybe, for San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard.

There are new rumors they might pursue Toronto Raptors All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan, who is said to be available.

Change could still be coming to LA.

There is no questioning the Lakers’ tradition, their passionate fan base, the fact it is the center of the movie-making universe.

But they aren’t home. And for James, home is where the heart is — just not always where he wants to live and play basketball year-round.

CAVS STILL HERE

So what’s it mean for the Cavaliers?

Well, it again stings, just as it did in 2010 when James left for the Heat. They are sort of left holding a bag of some overpaid veterans, some of whom (here’s looking at you, J.R. Smith) were able to get large deals because of their relationship with LeBron.

Now, the Cavs will see what they become with the likes of Kevin Love and rookie lottery pick Collin Sexton.

Now, they will see what they might be able to get in return for Love.

Now, they will put their best foot forward and try to keep pro basketball a thing in Cleveland. On the bright side, they have gone through this before. General manager Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert should be well-versed in what NOT to do.

While Altman wasn’t the GM last time, he was employed by the team during a portion of its dark ages stretch from 2010-14.

The Cavs are also a veteran team that has won — a lot. At worst, they are better prepared for this than they were when LeBron split in 2010.

This time, they at least believed it could happen. This time, they can decide on a direction and roll with it.

They will determine whether to be the Little Engine That Could and win as much as possible, or try to gut the roster and start losing.

But the latter can build an endless cycle of losing and building … and building and losing … and creating a losing culture.

All the Cavs are sure of at this point is that James came back to save them before. But he never will again.

He is a member of the Lakers now, and it is best for everyone at least that much is finally known.

23 Comments on "Amico: LeBron off to Lakers, Cavs still here. What now?"

  1. I wish I could say this doesn’t bother me. LeBron gave us a title which we never would have got without him. This being said he just gave the Lakers something he never gave the Cavs: a long term commitment. Had he given Cleveland a commitment the Cavs would not be in salary cap hell and could actually do something had he stayed or now that he left.

  2. Thomas Nguyen | July 1, 2018 at 9:14 pm |

    I’m not mad. I am disappointed.

    Thanks Amico. You have been reporting this story like a pro.

    One positive out of all of this, LeBron will at some point lose his skills. Will he be Kobe and keep shooting, or like Dirk and accept a different role.

  3. Did Lue go with him?

  4. we’re stuck with terrible Klutch contracts and a coach who should be in aau.how long before Dan axes all bron buddies in front office and on bench? this is an ownership that butchered 4top 4draft picks last time. ( 1 krybaby ,1 bust,2 marginal players at #4.don’t feel good about prospects

  5. Brett A Bland | July 1, 2018 at 9:34 pm |

    Any reason why he wanted to go to LA? Now that Lebron is gone, would a trade of KLove to Philly be a possibility since we need to get some young players and draft picks?

  6. I would not be surprised if Lue is dumped now and Love will be traded by the February trade deadline to build some assets since we gave away 2 first round drafts picks for Korver, Clarkson and Nance.
    I have no faith in Altman. Wasn’t he in charge of scouting and player personnel during 2010 through 2014? Add those picks to the trades this year and it does not look promising.

  7. LeBron just did 4 years in Cleveland and brought a trophy to the city, so he is all good. He is taking on the West now, trying to challenge Golden State in a head-on collision. How can you not respect him for doing this? This man a champion willing to take on the greatest challenge of his life. Total respect for Decision 3.0. It just makes sense.

    • ARE YOU NUTS! Left Cleveland in the DUST again. No sign & trade to give fans in CLE anything in return after eating all the buddy-buddy big contracts of his cohorts. Yeah, he’s a good player, but ZERO loyalty. When the refs overturned the CHARGING call in game 1 and JR”S boneheaded move cost them the game 1 advantage,,,,He just lost it. Lebron wanted these players & helped them get BIG BUCKS, so much so that it disadvantaged the team to the point they can’t afford REAL STARS, AND THE BIMBO COACH wouldn’t even play some youthful players to get them some experience before & during playoffs–all because Lebron wanted “aging players” at high prices ! It’s well proven he’s good but even HE CAN’T win it all on his own, but HE’S the one who helped PICK these players & got them BIG Bucks–then leaves CLE again with nothing. Yes 1 trophy, but that’s history now. As far as where he’s going, to have real success, he’s going to have to share the ball MORE with the youngsters… NOT getting ALL the points he’s used to… ?? ?? ?? Will that set well with his “legacy” and NOW with those saying Kobe’s team…. ? ? ? Magic ?? Kareem ? ? & YOU CAN’T GET BY GSW TO EVEN GET TO THE FINALS ? ?
      Could be he later regrets THIS MOVE.

  8. Beany Boy | July 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm |

    The losing streak will only reach 18 this time.

  9. Except he said he wanted to end his career as a Cav and could never imagine leaving again. Never committed long term like he did with Miami and LA. Now we’re stuck with bad contracts. Thanks LaFraud!

  10. Beany Boy | July 1, 2018 at 10:57 pm |

    Won’t be as bad as last time. Only an 18ngame losing streak this time. Please give Kevin Love a break and trade him from this trash team. Start the rebuild immediately.

  11. Beany Boy | July 1, 2018 at 11:12 pm |

    This team is going to stink terribly for a long long time. Maybe 1 nationally televised game a year until 2029.

  12. Beany Boy | July 1, 2018 at 11:52 pm |

    All I ask now is that you give Kevin Love some respect and trade him from this garbage team. He deserves that much. And the last thing they want to do is go forward with Koby Altman. Get a real GM in here.

  13. Beany Boy | July 1, 2018 at 11:55 pm |

    And just to think. The Cavs took the contracts of Garbage Clarkson and Stiff Nance to help make all this possible. I might watch a game again if they fire Altman as soon as possible

  14. Don’t be surprised if LeBron comes back to Cleveland in 4 years. I know that many are upset right now, but that will fulfill his pattern.

  15. Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air | July 2, 2018 at 12:44 am |

    Told ya he’d go to the Sixers! Book it!
    I can also predict every past lottery drawing correctly!

  16. Thanks 4 the championship LeBron just such a shame you are a liar. I Promise – promise what? To lie & defraud the people of Ohio again

  17. Have a reset.. trade K.Love and add some bad contracts. Build around Sexton. If Cavs need to add 2nd rounders to make it happen. Do it

    K.Love to 76ers/Bucks/Phoenix..

    If Cavs can get mcCollum from Portland much better.

  18. Time to rebuild. And what’s wrong with that? Take a look at the Browns and Tribe. It’s what happens when you had a championship team. Browns are at 54 years on their rebuild. Tribe is on year 70 of their rebuild.

  19. Beany Boy | July 2, 2018 at 2:04 pm |

    Pretty simple actually. Get rid of anyone that might help you win games. You need to be bad enough to get that Atlanta pick. Buy out vets and replace them with d-leaguers. Just lose baby.

  20. Why are you guys upset? The King will return to the Land in 4 years to play with his son, win his seventh ring, and buy the Cavs from Dan Gilbert. Trust the process.

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