LeBron signs with Lakers, and that's bad news for the Wolves

LeBron moving to the West virtually guarantees the Lakers a trip to the playoffs.
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LeBron James is signing with the Lakers, according to his management team, Klutch Sports Group. 

Klutch says the four-year contract worth $154 million will bring the four-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA Finals MVP to Los Angeles, the city he already calls home during the offseason. 

LeBron exiting the Eastern Conference only makes the Western Conference stronger, and that's bad news for every fringe playoff team in the West, including the Timberwolves. 

Minnesota barely made the playoffs last season, needing an overtime win over the Denver Nuggets in the final game of the regular season to clinch a spot. The Lakers didn't sniff the postseason but with LeBron they're all but a guarantee to make the playoffs in 2019. 

Related: Wolves sign Rose to 1-year deal, prepare contract for Butler

Meanwhile, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Spurs star Kawhi Leonard still wants to be traded to the Lakers, so L.A. might be on the verge of getting two the five best (arguably) players in the NBA. 

If Leonard winds up in L.A., think about how tremendous the star power for the best-of-the-best will be. 

  • Warriors: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green
  • Rockets: James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela
  • Lakers: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard
  • Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony?
  • Jazz: Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell
  • Wolves: Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins (maybe)
  • Pelicans: Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday
  • Blazers: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum

We didn't even mention Denver, which just re-signed Nikola Jokic to a maximum deal and might have the steal of the draft in Michael Porter Jr. Nor did we mention San Antonio, but with head coach Greg Popovich, it won't surprise anyone if they're in the mix for a playoff spot. 

What's even crazier is that DeMarcus Cousins is still available, although he's coming off a torn Achilles. 

The other big name to sign Sunday was Paul George, who agreed to a deal that will keep him in Oklahoma City alongside Russell Westbrook. 

There's still plenty of moving and shaking to happen, but the West is shaping up to be tougher than ever before, and that's saying something. 

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