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2014 Free Agency, Latest News / Jun 24, 2014 / 9:53 am

Report: LeBron James Will Opt Out Of His Contract & Become A Free Agent

LeBron James

LeBron James (Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports)

LeBron James will opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat and become a free agent on July 1, his agent, Rich Paul, tells ESPN’s Chris Broussard. This doesn’t mean he’ll leave the Heat, but it does open up a myriad of different options for the ostensible best player in the world.

LeBron has said he’s unwilling to take less if the Heat aren’t ready to significantly upgrade a roster that was steamrolled in the 2014 NBA Finals.

The bizarre part of the announcement, but one which could help the Heat anyway, is that LeBron had until June 30 to opt in or out and decided to announce the news through his agent today. This gives the Heat — particularly his teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — time to decide what they’re going to do with their player options this summer.

While neither Bosh or Wade — particularly Wade, after a poor performance in the NBA Finals — can command whatever LeBron might be able to get on the open market, this does allow them to also opt out then renegotiate their contracts with the Heat, in a possible attempt at making run for Carmelo Anthony.

Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski believes LeBron is putting pressure on the Heat’s brass — including Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison — to spend now to surround him with better players.

The Rockets plan to make a run at the 4-time MVP, as do the Lakers and every other NBA team besides, perhaps, the Spurs.

Some had thought James would wait until after the draft to make his announcement, but some — including ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, believe he made his announcement before the 2014 NBA Draft to allow teams a chance to open up the cap space to sign the 2-time NBA Finals MVP.

Things just got even murkier in what’s shaping up to the be the craziest free agency summer since 2010 when LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh first announced they were teaming up on the Heat.

Where does LeBron play next year?

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  • 2cents

    Maybe some better players would help, but a better offensive game plan might also do wonders for the Heat. Every team in the league has seen the usual offensive sets of giving the ball to LBJ outside the 3 and let him create on the drive to the rim. I highly doubt he goes anywhere else, but does anyone else see the irony in his statement of not wanting to take less, unless they improve. How else do they improve unless he takes less?

    unwilling
    to take less if the Heat aren’t ready to significantly upgrade – See
    more at:
    http://dimemag.com/2014/06/report-lebron-james-will-opt-contract-become-free-agent/#sthash.CzmS0NwX.dpuf