Move doesn’t necessarily mean that James will leave Miami.
Miami Heat star LeBron James has informed the franchise that he will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
James’ agent, Richie Paul, delivered the news on Tuesday morning, but while opting out does not mean that James has decided to leave the Heat, he will have the flexibility to make a decision on his future in the coming weeks.
Neither the player nor the organisation have made a public announcement on the decision, but ESPN report that a person close to the situation has delivered the news to the Associated Press.
The 30-year-old had until June 30 to decide whether or not to opt out of the final two years of his contract with Miami, and he was scheduled to make $20m next season.
Having previously indicated that he would welcome the opportunity to become a free agent and have the same level of freedom he was afforded back in 2010 when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers, James told reporters that he would take a vacation with his family before his considering his options.
He has now seemingly made that decision, and will go through the process of either re-signing with Miami in a deal which gives them more financial flexibility to recruit, or he could yet decide to find a new challenge elsewhere.
James had two years and around $42.7m remaining on his deal with Miami, and while he did reach the NBA Finals in all of his four years at the AA Arena, winning two championships, Miami suffered a series loss to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month to surrender their crown.