Early Tuesday morning, LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul, informed the Miami Heat his client will exercise his early termination option to forego the final two years of his contract and become a free agent. Of course, the Twittershpere is already abuzz with legacy and loyalty talk (or lack thereof), but this doesn’t really mean anything.
Per ESPN, LeBron James’ agent informed Heat he will opt out. Let the fun begin.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 24, 2014
Since the Heat’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, the possibilities for LeBron and the rest of Miami’s Big Three have been publicly debated and discussed; will he and/or they stay in Miami? Will he return home to Cleveland? Will they all take pay cuts to bring in Carmelo Anthony? Those are all still options now.
LeBron’s agent informing the Heat of the decision also doesn’t mean anything; that’s just a formality and there were a lot of reports during the Finals stating the Heat’s Big Three had already decided to opt out and re-sign to contracts that were structured differently to allow room for another star. Even if that’s not Melo, LeBron, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade know they need help to beat fundamentally-sound teams like the Spurs.
Of course, becoming a free agent gives LeBron the liberty of looking at other offers as well, if he decides to entertain them. NBA free agency doesn’t begin until July, so there will be at least a week of debate about what his opt out means, but don’t be fooled: James will likely stay in Miami and this is just part of the process to keep the Big Three intact while also adding more help for them this offseason.