Report: LeBron James signs four-year deal with Lakers

By Josh Liddick, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Well, that didn't go the way we thought it was going to go.

Announced by agency Klutch Sports and reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the three-time NBA Champion, four-time MVP LeBron James has signed a four-year $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The dream of James joining Simmons and Embiid on the Sixers has officially been dashed. LeBron's agency met with Sixers brass in Los Angeles earlier Sunday to discuss their pitch for the 14-time All-Star, centered around the possibility of luring Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard to the Sixers in a trade.

Now that LeBron has signed with the Lakers, according to Wojnarowski, Kawhi's focus is completely set on Los Angeles. 

LeBron now has a chance to win championships for the Lakers for Team President Magic Johnson, along with teammates Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and any other player the team may get in the coming days.

For the Sixers, the gameplan has changed, as Kawhi Leonard coming to Philly now seems like a very slim chance of happening. There aren't many players left for the taking out in Free Agency that would put the Sixers over the top, but retaining JJ Redick at this point seems like a very high priority. The Sixers already lost bench pieces Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova to the Spurs and Bucks, respectively, early Sunday morning.

While the deal hurts, the Sixers still have Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, with Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and Robert Covington still on the roster for now. The Sixers won 52 games last season, earned the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and can now put their focus solely on qualifying for the NBA Finals, as the Boston Celtics now seem like the greatest threat.

It's definitely not what we were expecting, but as we Sixers fans have learned, we need to continue to "Trust the Process" and continue on the path that Sam Hinkie built for the Sixers.

The feeling may hurt right now, but it's in no way the absolute end of the world.



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