When LeBron James elected to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat with the infamous “The Decision” back in 2010, the NBA community at large turned on the self-proclaimed King. With the possibility of him leaving this summer, we could be looking at yet another firestorm regarding James.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, it seems like we could be one step closer to all of that happening. Broussard reports that LeBron’s agent has informed the organization that he plans to exercise his early termination option in his contract which will make him an unrestricted free-agent on July 1.
Since LeBron is going to become an unrestricted free agent, there’s obviously the chance that the superstar could go elsewhere. Though he’d demand a substantial payday, there’s no team in the NBA that wouldn’t do whatever it takes to acquire the best player in the league. However, the effort of the 29 other teams in the league may be all for naught.
What LeBron exercising his early termination option likely means is that he has plans for a better future in Miami. As an unrestricted free agent, he could surely coax the Heat into giving him a full max contract as opposed to the discounted rate that he and the rest of the Big Three signed for when they joined forces in 2010. However, it could also mean something even better for the Heat and the organization’s future.
There has been discussion since the Heat’s loss in the Finals that they need more help around LeBron and company. While that could mean signing impactful, but low-budget, free agents, it could also mean the Heat’s Big Three all opting out and taking even less money so that they could sign another big-name player to join them in Miami.
One of the names that has been tossed around in this scenario is Carmelo Anthony, who also exercised his early termination option this week, making him an unrestricted free agent. The timing of both Carmelo and LeBron exercising their ETOs is certainly coincidental, but also doesn’t make anything certain. There are also a number of other free agents that Miami could look to sign if they can create salary cap room, someone like Kyle Lowry being another interesting possible addition.
We could very well be headed towards another drama-filled summer for LeBron if he intends to get out of Miami. However, him exercising his ETO doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s gone from the Heat. In fact, it could mean good things for Miami and the future of the organization as they look to rebound from getting trounced in the Finals.