Just days after Carmelo Anthony decided to opt out of the final year of his deal, LeBron James has decided to follow him into unrestricted free agency.
In the story of the summer so far reports are surfacing that LeBron James has opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat.
LeBron James' agent Rich Paul has told Heat LeBron will exercise early termination option— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 24, 2014
James' agent Richie Paul has reportedly informed the Heat that LeBron has opted out of the final two years of his contract in which he was slated to make between $42-43 million.
What this means for the league will depend entirely on LeBron’s intentions. Early indications are that this move has been made in an attempt to free up cap space for the Heat front office to go and spend on a higher calibre of supporting cast for James.
The recent NBA Finals revealed that the Heat could not match up to the talent possessed by a San Antonio team whose stars had sacrificed money for rings.
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
If this is indeed the case then the James has placed the impetus firmly on his co-stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who will be earning $40 between themselves next year, to follow him into free agency and a potential pay cut.
Whether the Heat stars have sat down and had a conversation regarding this possibility is unknown, though it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t follow James’s lead, given that he’s become the team’s de facto leader as Wade’s knees have broken down.
The possibility, however, still remains that James may be looking for a way out of South Beach. With Carmelo Anthony becoming a free agent this week as well and Kevin Love supposedly on the move away from Minnesota, the possibility for the creation of a new super-team remains a distinct possibility.
One scenario that is bound to be discussed is one in which James returns to his home state Ohio and re-joins the team that drafted him, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With young point guard Kyrie Irving in place in Cleveland and the Cavaliers owning Thursday’s draft number 1 overall pick, something that could be traded to acquire Kevin Love, there’s plenty in Cleveland for James to return to.
And when one considers the circumstances in which James walked away from Cleveland and the damage this did to his reputation, one can see why James would be tempted to return home and try and win the title that eluded him during his 7 years in Cleveland.
The NBA summer has now officially begun and The King is back on the market.