Some fans stunned at LeBron James' massive deal with Lakers

LeBron James

Only the Cavaliers, Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers had the salary-cap room to make a run at the four-time league most valuable player.

After much deliberation and anticipation, LeBron James spurned the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in a move that was widely expected. He left Cleveland for the Miami Heat in 2010 to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ― the duo won two National Basketball Association championships during their four seasons together before James elected to return to Cleveland.

Why did James sign with the Lakers?

CBSSports.com's projections had the Lakers as a 29-win team before the signing was announced.

It all changes now that King James is here. It also helps that the Lakers are one of the game's premier franchises. The family has two homes in California and James' oldest son, LeBron James Jr., has always been rumored to be taking his own talents to basketball powerhouse Sierra Canyon High School in Chatsworth, California.

On Friday, James formally became a free agent when he informed the Cavs he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent and the prize catch in the 2018 class.

LeBron is heading to LA.

James, who is also known as "King James", took to Instagram to address his Cleveland fans.

The decision to join the Lakers was not a surprise to his innermost circle, with one person telling AP that it had been presumed for some time that he was headed to Los Angeles next season.

But despite claiming the Eastern Conference crown for a fourth straight year, James was given a blunt reminder of how far short the Cavs are of a championship caliber team when they were swept 4-0 by the Warriors in the Finals. As the East rejoices and the Boston/Philadelphia rivalry takes center stage again, James will have a hard time getting to the Finals now.

His departure would create some more question marks for the Lakers, especially who will be in the frontcourt alongside Kyle Kuzma.

The team didn't wait long to announce their next move.

The Eastern Conference, which was just starting to look more competitive than it had in the last decade, took a major hit on Sunday night when LeBron James chose to join the Los Angeles Lakers.

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