After four seasons with the Miami Heat, superstar LeBon James has decided to opt out of his contract with the team and test the free agent market, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
LeBron will join Carmelo Anthony as the two biggest names on the open market. The four-time NBA MVP deciding to become a free agent is a game-changer as numerous teams around the league will attempt to sign him this summer by offering a max deal.
As a result of opting out of his contract with the Heat, LeBron forgoes the $20.5 million he was expected to make next season and the $22.1 million he’d make in the 2015-16 NBA season. LeBron’s decision will likely impact the immediate futures for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as well. Bosh is set to make the exact dollar amount that LeBron was while Wade will make a little less at $20.1 next season and $21.6 the year after.
Although LeBron may simply re-sign with the Heat this summer, there’s a decent chance the superstar leaves Miami. The Cleveland Cavaliers will likely do everything within their power to bring LeBron back to his home state and may have the right pieces in place to pitch the superstar.
Along with Cleveland, the Los Angeles Lakers will try to get in on the LeBron sweepstakes. Many believe it is a stretch that LeBron would even consider playing alongside Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the Lakers would be an option in free agency.
It has been rumored that the Lakers are holding off on hiring a new head coach in an effort to give LeBron or Carmelo Anthony the right sales pitch. Los Angeles didn’t want to bring in a coach that might stir one of these superstars elsewhere.
Although considered a long shot to sign him, the Lakers will likely try to setup a meeting with LeBron. Anthony might be the more realistic option for Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean the Lakers brass won’t at least try to convince LeBron to head West.
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