Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Kobe Bryant, NBA players react to LeBron James joining Lakers

Kobe Bryant, NBA players react to LeBron James joining Lakers

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James will not meet in person with the Cleveland Cavaliers when NBA free agency officially opens Sunday at 12:01 a.m. ET, ESPN's Dave McMenamin reports.

In fact, losing James in free agency would drop the team below the league's luxury tax line for the first time in quite a while. Remember: James' agent met with the Cavaliers in 2014 without James, and he ultiamately made a decision to leave the Heat to return to Cleveland.

The Lakers appeared to suffer a blow early in free agency when Paul George, reported to be looking at the Lakers in free agency, chose to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder, taking one potential star off the table. After Paul George opted to re-sign with the Thunder rather than join up with James in Los Angeles, though, throwing a potential wrench in those plans. Regardless, for the time being at least, the young Lakers are excited to have James on board.

Now that free agency has started, keep checking back to see where the top players have signed.

Wojnarowski reported that team ownership - likely led by Joshua Harris - and Brown were expected to lead the meeting. Cleveland has lost to Golden State in the finals each of the last two years, and in three of the last four.

As the Lakers have failed to bring in other stars over recent years, there were some wondering if their chances of bringing in James were lessened.

James informed the Cavaliers on Friday that he would not exercise his $35.6 million contract option. But James joining the Lakers could give them more leverage in talks with the Spurs now that James is already a Laker.

Last summer's stunning trade of guard Kyrie Irving left the Cavs without a quality running mate for James, who was forced to carry a heavier offensive load throughout the regular season and playoffs.

He flew to Los Angeles on Saturday, creating a frenzy without saying a word.

Retired Lakers icon Kobe Bryant also reached out to show his support and excitement, tweeting, "Welcome to the family @KingJames #lakers4life #striveforgreatness @JeanieBuss @MagicJohnson and RP well done!"

Cleveland are still within a shot of re-signing the three-time National Basketball Association champion and were the first team James contacted this morning.

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