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Dwyane Wade Reveals That LeBron James’ ‘Ultimate Goal’ In 2017 Was To Join The Lakers In Free Agency

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As suspected, LeBron James' move to the Lakers wasn't a spontaneous one. Dwyane Wade confirmed as much when reflecting back on his short stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“LeBron, first of all, he’s a guy who always plays his cards close to the vest, but I knew his ultimate goal was to be in Los Angeles,” Wade told Joe Vardon of The Athletic.

“He recruited me and he talked to me about signing [for the Cavaliers], and I said, ‘Listen, I know you might not be there long, you’re gonna be a free agent and there are some things that might happen, and we’ll have a conversation.’ I just thought I’d make it through the season first.”

Even back in 2017, Dwyane Wade signed in Cleveland knowing that James' heart was in L.A. Wade told Vardon he went to lunch with James on the day he was traded back to Miami, and while James didn't discuss his future plans, he knew what direction his longtime friend was leaning.

"It wasn't like he came out said 'Oh, you're traded, I'm going to the Lakers,' but like I said, I knew where his heart was and what he was thinking big picture."

It sounds as if LeBron knew where he was going long before it was announced in 2018.

And honestly, it shouldn't come as a big surprise. At the time, the Cavs were a struggling team, still trying to figure things out after trading Kyrie Irving. That season, things fell apart completely, and Dwyane Wade was shipped off to Miami.

Meanwhile, the Lakers had everything going for them. The big-market city, the young talent, the respectable front-office.

LeBron James becoming a Laker really was inevitable.