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LeBron will become free agent

LeBron James To Opt Out Of Deal


MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James is heading back to free agency.

James has told the Miami Heat that he is opting out of the final two years of his contract, his agent, Rich Paul, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. And with that, James will become a free agent on July 1.

"I have informed the Heat," Paul said.

That does not mean James is leaving Miami - but there's no guarantee that he'll be in a Heat uniform next season, either. A person briefed on the matter and familiar with James' thinking told AP that he has not decided where he will play next season.

"There's no other decision yet," that person said.

James addressed the lure of having flexibility last week in his exit interview after the Heat lost to San Antonio in the NBA Finals. And he will have plenty of it now.

Among his options: He could leave Miami entirely, join another team if he feels that better positions himself to win more championships, or sign a longer-term deal in Miami and afford the Heat some financial flexibility of their own in relation to the salary cap and luxury tax.

"Being able to have flexibility as a professional, anyone, that's what we all would like," James said last week. "That's in any sport, for a football player, a baseball player, a basketball player, to have flexibility and be able to control your future or your present. I have a position to be able to do that. ... There's a lot of times that you're not in control of your future as a professional."

The other two Miami stars with early termination options - Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh - have not yet told the Heat or publicly revealed whether they will join James as free agents this summer. Bosh and James both said last week that the three would meet before deciding anything about their respective futures, and it's been widely speculated that they might have to rework their deals to keep the "Big 3" together in Miami.

Each signed six-year deals when they famously teamed up in Miami in 2010, and all of those deals came with options to become free agents either this summer or in the summer of 2015. Together, they've won four Eastern Conference titles and two NBA championships, winning more games than any other team in the league over that span.

"There's a conversation that will be had between the three of us," James said last week. "I think it's only right. I think we've earned that for each other, to have a conversation and see what could possibly happen."

James had about $42.7 million remaining on his deal with the Heat. He came to Miami in 2010 after spending his first seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the free agent dealings that summer, James said, was the "craziest summer I've ever been a part of."

This one might have a similar feel. James' wife posted a photo depicting Akron, Ohio - their hometown - to her Instagram account Sunday night, and that set off a social-media frenzy, even though it was only related to her annual trip home for the summer.

Join the discussion

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mastkit June 24 2014 at 12:04 PM

No loyality, selfish, only wants the money and recognition...team player never. Could have been one of the real greats, but has been seduced. You want to see loyalty: Bird, Cousy, Robertson, Heinson, Chamberlain...you can be great and still be loyal to your city.

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5 replies
moooooooooochelle June 24 2014 at 11:01 AM


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6 replies
skitch1962 June 24 2014 at 11:05 AM

Who cares!! What are we going to have endure another "The Decision" show!! Let him "take his talents" to Mars!!!

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elpgolfer June 24 2014 at 11:12 AM

Hey all you Heat fans, don't worry about it. Lebron will do the right thing. Just like he did here in Cleveland....Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

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5 replies
ram4131 June 24 2014 at 1:00 PM

How does LeBron spell team?

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1 reply
jdsept ram4131 June 24 2014 at 5:06 PM

You work why?

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pty014372 June 24 2014 at 11:12 AM

There is one good thing from all of this...if he goes to another team, his mother will have plenty of new players to date.

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1 reply
jtrottahcc pty014372 June 24 2014 at 1:09 PM

Good one!!!

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jvor111 June 24 2014 at 11:23 AM

The big three? Yea right. They care about the money and that is all they care about. Wade and Bosch will opt out also and the owner should say cya. Take a look at Tim Duncan. How many championships and how much drama compared to these three. I'd take Duncan any day over the three.
Think about it. It is a team sport and Duncan has always been about TEAM and the big 3 can't even spell the word.

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supbrabra June 24 2014 at 11:55 AM

Please DO NOT come to Chicago!

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leslie June 24 2014 at 11:49 AM

Loyalty is not in his or any heat player's vocabulary! That's why the Heat got their butts spanked by the Spurs that played as a team. Don't let the door hit you in the azz.

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2 replies
Warren D leslie June 24 2014 at 4:04 PM

Everybody talkin about loyalty, and devotion to city and team...You're all haters and jealous of the man's ability, skill at what he does, and how much he's paid to do it. If you Bamas worked for GM, and Toyota offered you a job making more money - you'd be gone in a heartbeat. STFU!!

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jdsept leslie June 24 2014 at 5:12 PM

You missed the two YEARS they won the championships? Duuuh The year they BEAT the Spurs? Short memory or just don't know sports? Todays heroes are next years also-rans. If Lebron and the other two stay and then win next year, does that make them great and Duncan a bum? Was Lebron great in 2013 and Duncan a bum that year? Did Mariano Rivera become a bum his last year when the Yanks didn't make the playoffs?

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dhsdome June 24 2014 at 12:03 PM

Go to Detroit. They need a lot of help there.

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1 reply
bottomtime321 dhsdome June 24 2014 at 12:41 PM

We had Iverson at one time, please don't send us Prince James.

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