A veteran sports columnist “unequivocally” claimed that superstar LeBron James will leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Los Angeles Lakers after the 2017-18 season. In his column with Patreon, Peter Vecsey stated that he wanted to end the rumors and speculation regarding where James will play by “comfortably” declaring that the superstar will sign with the Lakers. “I'm eradicating all conjecture and uncertainty! I'm comfortable now in stating unequivocally, LeBron will leave the Cavaliers a second time and join the Lakers,” said Vecsey.

James can decline the $35.6 million player option in his deal after this season and become an unrestricted free agent next July.

The Cavaliers are facing uncertainty in 2018 with Isaiah Thomas, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, and Derrick Rose among those who could join James in the free-agent market. Many thought James wouldn’t leave the Cavaliers after he returned in 2014. After his return, the Cavaliers made it to three straight Finals appearances and won their first NBA title in 2016. However, James and team owner Dan Gilbert had a rift after the Cavaliers did not sign general manager David Griffin to a new contract.

James has other interests in Los Angeles

In his discussions with NBA executives, Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report said many of them believe that James will join the Lakers for a variety of reasons. First, James has several businesses, including a production company that can blossom further if he relocates to Los Angeles.

He also has Uninterrupted, a multimedia platform that is becoming popular among athletes. If he joins the Lakers, he can also get business advice from team president Magic Johnson, who is also a successful businessman. James might also be interested in an ownership stake with the Lakers as part of his potential deal.

James to form super team?

Podcaster Bill Simmons earlier floated the possibility that James and Paul George will team up with the Lakers to form a super team with young players Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. Before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, George expressed his intention to join the Lakers, his hometown team.

However, the Pacers shipped him to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Thunder point guard and reigning MVP Russell Westbrook could join the mix in 2018 if he turns down the five-year, $207 million offer from Oklahoma City. DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans might also join the team after his contract expires following the 2017-18 season.