SO apparently this morning Lebron James informed Miami Heat, through his agent that he is exercising his early termination on his contract & will be a FREE AGENT as of July 1st. Where will he go? Will he come to LA? Did he leave because he couldn’t take the HEAT (pun intended)? Is he after his next ring? What are your thoughts on him becoming a FREE AGENT?
NY TIMES reports — Carmelo Anthony enjoyed the privilege of being the N.B.A.’s most coveted free agent for a little more than 36 hours. That ended Tuesday morning when it was revealed that LeBron James had informed the Miami Heat through his agent, Rich Paul, that he intends to exercise the early-termination option on his contract and become a free agent on July 1.
The news was not surprising — by opting out, James can explore other opportunities while putting leverage on the Heat to improve their roster — but it sent seismic tremors across the league, nonetheless. James, who has won two N.B.A. championships with the Heat, is widely regarded as the planet’s best player, and any team would love to have him.
The problem for most potential suitors, as is often the case amid the frenzy of free agency, is salary cap space. Most teams lack the financial flexibility to absorb the type of contract that James is sure to command, although he could be wooed by the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers (his former team), the Houston Rockets, the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, who have oodles of cap space and have yet to hire a head coach.
The Heat, though, remain the favorite to retain his services. James, 29, has made four trips to the N.B.A. finals in four seasons in Miami, and he seems to enjoy playing there.
The Heat’s most recent trip to the finals, however, was a bit of a disaster, as the San Antonio Spurs — executing their smart and savvy style of basketball — steamrollered to the title in five games. The series exposed some of the Heat’s flaws, including their lack of depth, and guard Dwyane Wade’s physical limitations.
By opting out, James can restructure his deal with the Heat to help accommodate more players. But much of that could also hinge on what Wade and, to a lesser extent, Chris Bosh decide to do. Like James, Wade and Bosh have opt-out clauses in their contracts. But unlike James, they have yet to inform the Heat of their plans.
James was due to earn $20.6 million from the Heat next season.