The King Goes to Hollywood
Sunday night the most sought-after free agent, Lebron James, signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers also agreed to deals with center JaVale McGee and guard Lance Stephenson.
Transaction reports swiftly hit the airwaves as teams signed new deals with available players.
Oklahoma City All-Star and former league MVP Russell Westbrook cut his Hawaiian vacation short to host a house party near Lake Arcadia Saturday night. The party was for Paul George, with special guest Nas, one of George’s favorite rappers, performing on stage. Shortly after, a post appeared on social media with George on stage announcing that he will remain in OKC.
“If ya’ll didn’t quite get it, let me say it again. I’m here to stay…I’m here to stay,” George said.
George and the Thunder agreed to a four-year, $137 million deal.
The Thunder also re-signed forward Jerami Grant to a 3-year deal worth $27 million.
Former Thunder forward and 2018 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant re-signed with the Golden State Warriors. Durant’s deal is for two years, worth $61.5 million. The contract is for $30 million for the first year and $31.5 million with a player option in year two.
This allows Durant to negotiate a new deal after next season or test free agency. The extra $5 million in year two of the contract offsets the $5.3 million mid-level exception if Golden State decides to use it. In the long run, Durant would save the Warriors $20 million in projected luxury taxes.
Houston Rockets All-Star guard Chris Paul also took to social media to announce his decision. Paul posted a picture of himself in a black Rockets uniform with the caption, “Unfinished Business.” His contract is for four years, worth $160 million.
Paul was a major factor for Houston in the 2018 Western Conference Finals against Golden State. A game six injury sidelined him for game seven. The Rockets lost and Golden State would go on to win the 2018 NBA Finals by sweeping Cleveland 4-0.
Former Houston forward Trevor Ariza decided to leave the championship-contending Rockets to sign a one year contract with the Phoenix Suns for $15 million.
Former Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan has returned to his hometown of Dallas again. Jordan agreed to sign with the Mavericks in 2015, but pulled out after meeting with then teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
This time, the deal is for one year, approaching the $24.1 million option he relinquished with the Clippers.