Leonard will make $20 million next season per Spotrac, and the Spurs would have to accept back similar salaries for the teams to make it work under the cap.
But there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the Lakers and what comes next, as they try to build a contender around James. Vegas also has the Lakers as the favorites.
George's move has given James more to process, but the chance to restore Los Angeles to prominence may be just what he needs at this point in his career.
"If everybody looks at it with a son at that age, you don't want to be away from him during that period of time", Gary Payton noted earlier in the year. In other words, would they and James be okay not contending for a championship this year if it meant adding Leonard next summer and keeping all of their young core?
Cleveland's roster was exposed during this year's finals, and James may not have seen a way for it to improve enough to win a fourth title.
Once James committed to the Lakers, Stephenson was a top player on the team's priority list.
Novak Djokovic speaks out after reaching Queen's semi-finals
I was just thinking how I can return his serve and how I can get into play and position myself well in the next point. There's a lot of grass court players. "Last year I had a match point and couldn't convert it, this year it was Novak.
News of the decision breaking was a bit of a startling one.
The 33-year-old, whose teams have represented the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association final for the past eight seasons, has agreed to a four-year, $154-million contract (all figure U.S.) with the storied Lakers franchise.
In the end, James believed it was the right situation for him.
The East is now more wide open than it's been in nearly a decade, if the National Basketball Association resists what are sure to be loud howls to immediately alter its playoff setup of East vs. Short contracts are the new normal. And James is playing his latest departure from Cleveland in a much more subdued manner. Maybe age plus the toll of four incredibly long seasons catches up to the Warriors next season, and they begin a regression.
The Klutch tweet had ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski beat by three minutes because, well, it was the original source. The team is kicking the tires on the idea of having DeMarcus Cousins sign a short-term deal.