LeBron James opts out of Miami Heat contract

LARRY FINE
Last updated 03:39 25/06/2014
LeBron James
Reuters
OPTING OUT: LeBron James has opted out of the last two years of his deal with the Miami Heat and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He could still rejoin the Heat after renegotiating a new deal.

Relevant offers

Basketball

NZ Breakers dethrone Kings in Sydney 97-85 Thunder's Steven Adams proves to be double trouble for Spurs LA Clippers deal to Warriors, Bulls rout LA Lakers Applause and defeat for LeBron James in Miami return Sydney Kings star Josh Childress faces fitness test for Breakers clash Taranaki Mountain Airs add some fresh blood for 2015 campaign Breakers promise there will be no more Christmas gifts LeBron James' son stars at basketball youth tournament Houston Rockets' James Harden burns Trail Blazers for 44 points Good effort from Steven Adams but Thunder lose to Pelicans

LeBron James told the Miami Heat that he will exercise an early termination option in his contract and become an unrestricted free agent in a move the team said was "fully expected."

Opting out of the final two years of his contract does not mean the four-time league Most Valuable Player is leaving the Heat team he led to NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.

"We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise," Heat President Pat Riley, who said he was informed of James's decision earlier on Tuesday (local time), said in a statement.

"We look forward to sitting down with LeBron and his representatives and talking about our future together."

James, who was due to earn US$20 million next season, had until June 30 to decide whether to head back to free agency.

Qualified players become free agents on July 1.

The decision allows James to explore his options, including signing a new deal with the Heat team he led to four successive NBA Finals appearances since joining them as a free agent in 2010 after seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The announcement came one day after fellow All-Star Carmelo Anthony opted out of the final year of his deal with the New York Knicks to test free agency.

Anthony was due to earn US$23.5 million with the Knicks.

James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who formed Miami's 'Big Three' when they joined forces as free agents in 2010, are coming off a loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.

In contrast, San Antonio's evergreen power forward Tim Duncan, 38, decided late on Monday to continue for an 18th campaign with the Spurs by exercising his US$10.3 million option for next season.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

How do you expect the Breakers to perform in this season's Australian NBL?

Last season was a blip, they'll be champions once again

They'll go close to another title, beaten finalists I'd say

Playoffs for sure, but can't see them going any further

Not too excited, they'll miss the playoffs again

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content