Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant is convinced that Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will remain with the team amid rumors that he could move to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. “I personally always said he was staying,” Durant said during an interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast. Durant believes that James will end his career in his hometown of Cleveland, saying “he’s gonna turn it into something mega when he's done.” Durant backed up his claim by accepting a bet with Bill Simmons, who believes that James will leave the Cavaliers for the second time in his career and join the Lakers.

It was Simmons who first floated that James will leave the Cavaliers in 2018 and form a super team with the Lakers together with Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder, DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans and John Wall of the Washington Wizards. Wall recently signed a maximum deal with the Wizards, thus removing him from the equation. George has one year remaining on his contract with the Indiana Pacers before he was traded to the Thunder in the offseason.

NBA executives believe James to join Lakers

Simmons’ belief is shared by several NBA officials, who were interviewed recently by Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. According to Bucher, league executives are convinced that James will decline his $35.6 million player option for the 2018-19 season and join the Lakers.

Not even Kyrie Irving’s trade to the Boston Celtics will stop James from abandoning the Cavaliers after this season. An Eastern Conference general manager told Bucher that James leaving Cleveland in 2018 is a “foregone conclusion” while a scout from a Western Conference team said LeBron will be “out” of Cavaliers next season.

James remained committed to Cavs this season

According to Cavaliers' General Manager Koby Altman, James is committed to helping the Cavaliers notch their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference crown. However, James did not disclose his future plans beyond 2018. Bucher said the league executives are convinced that James, aside from playing in one of the biggest basketball markets in the NBA, wants to establish his post-playing career in TV and movie production.

James has established his own production company -- SpringHill Entertainment -- which has already produced several shows and television specials. James also has a home in Los Angeles where his wife wants to stay full-time at the soonest possible time. The Lakers could also entice James to join them by offering ownership stake with the team when he retires.