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 James' agent Rich Paul has told Heat LeBron will exercise early termination option
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 24, 2014
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.
LeBron James will opt-out of deal, source confirms. He's determined to impose pressure on Miami to improve roster and spend, sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2014
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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