It seems like LeBron James has been linked with the city of Los Angeles and the Lakers ever since his free agency decision back in 2010.
Rumors of a LeBron move to LA died down when James made his return to Cleveland in 2014, but after the insane drama surrounding the Cavaliers organization this offseason broke out into the public eye, #LeBronToLA is seeming more likely every single day that passes.
In a recent article written by Ric Bucher for Bleacher Report, Bucher explains how the blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and the Nets' 2018 first-round pick hasn't even made a dent in LeBron's plans to leave Cleveland come the completion of the 2017-18 NBA season.
"He's out," a Western Conference scout says.
"Foregone conclusion," one Eastern Conference general manager adds.
"I don't see him staying in Cleveland," another thinks."
Bucher also mentions that out of the team executives Bleacher Report spoke to, almost all of them have penciled in the Lakers as LeBron's destination next summer. Three main reasons came up why James would favor Los Angeles over other teams in the Association, and they are as follows:
1. Setting Up His Post-Retirement Career In Hollywood
This reason is the most obvious to fans, as LeBron has already starred in films such as 'Trainwreck', as well as producing his own shows.
Even more telling than that though, is the fact James has founded his very own Los Angeles-based production company, SpringHill Entertainment, as well as the fact that both him and two of his friends and business partners - his agent Rich Paul and business manager Maverick Carter - all own homes in the Los Angeles area.
2. Wanting To Lead Three Different Teams To A Title
A league source told Bucher that with the Warriors forming one of the most dominant dynasties in NBA history, James has given up on chasing Michael Jordan's six championships, and is instead looking to accomplish something Michael never did:
"That was once his obsession," the source says. "But even if LeBron thinks he has five good years left, he's not thinking he's going to beat Golden State four out of the next five years. I don't think he's making it about that anymore. When he said, 'I don't have anything left to prove' during the Finals, that's where that came from."
LeBron would definitely love to win another championship for Cleveland, but he doesn't see how he can do it when the Warriors are running rampant on the entire league. Moving onto the Lakers and trying to win a championship there may be an even bigger accomplishment than winning a second title for the Cavs, as no star player has ever won a championship with three different teams.
3. Wanting To Have An Ownership Stake With The Lakers When He Retires
The final reason LeBron may be weighing up a move to LA is purely from a business standpoint: James wants to be part-owner of the Lakers when he hangs them up.
Current Lakers team president Magic Johnson had the same goal during his career in LA, and was rewarded with a 4% stake in the franchise from late owner Dr. Jerry Buss.
Sources speculate that LeBron could be offered a similar deal in the Lakers pitch to James.
"It's all more about life after basketball than anything else," an first Eastern Conference GM said.