A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that LeBron James has decided to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Miami Heat and become a free agent on July 1.
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PHOTO: LeBron James in a Thunder jersey
Opting out does not mean James has decided to leave the Heat, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the four-time NBA MVP nor the team had made any public announcement. James had two years and about $42.7 million remaining on his deal with the Heat. In his four seasons in Miami, the Heat have gone to the NBA Finals four times, winning two championships.
LeBron now has the option of resigning with the Heat for more money, less money or leaving the team for another contender.— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) June 24, 2014
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
James had until June 30 to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract. James is scheduled to make $20 million next season.
James could resign with the Heat long-term, but the news of him becoming an unrestricted free agent gives hope to teams looking for an immediate shift in power in the NBA.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.