From NBA.com staff reports
Miami Heat star LeBron James is doing the same thing that New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony did a day ago: opt out of his contract with his current team and become an unrestricted free agent.
The news, which was first reported via Twitter by ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard, was somewhat expected by those following James and the Heat closely. James’ agent, Richie Paul, confirmed his client’s decision to the Associated Press on Tuesday afternoon.
James’ fellow running mates on the Heat — All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — can also opt out this summer, although their decision has not yet been made known. James opting out doesn’t prevent him from returning to the Heat; like Anthony, this move allows James to test the free-agent waters (if he so wishes) or return to his team on (perhaps) a lesser deal.
LeBron James’ agent, Richie Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Opting out does not mean James has decided to leave the Heat, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the four-time NBA MVP nor the team had made any public announcement.
James had until June 30 to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat. He was scheduled to make $20 million next season.
As you’d expect, Twitter was abuzz about LeBron’s move: