According to NY Daily News, LeBron James informed the Heat on Tuesday that he will opt out of contract and become a free agent on July 1, setting the stage for weeks of intrigue about the player who can shift the balance of power like none other. The move certainly doesn't mean James will leave the Heat. The 29-year-old just has more options and leverage. One option is to re-sign for the max. Another is to take an even greater pay cut, along with prospective free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, in order to bring in a fourth star, such as Carmelo Anthony. Anthony opted out of his deal with the Knicks on Monday.But James will have no shortage of other suitors, including the Lakers, Bulls, Cavaliers and whoever can free up the cap space and pique his interest. James is reportedly keen on avoiding the circus and PR disaster that became his last foray into free agency. Just last week, Heat president and GM Pat Riley had a strong message for the player he signed four years ago. "This stuff is hard," Riley said. "And you've got to stay together if you got the guts. And you don't find the first door and run out of it." James won two titles and advanced to four NBA Finals in four years with Miami, but the last series against the Spurs exposed the Heat as tremendously flawed with an aging and insufficient supporting cast. Wade, in particular, appeared to be losing his battle with Father Time. The Miami bench was outplayed by the Spurs, a year after Heat owner Mickey Arison decided to amnesty Mike Miller to curtail his luxury tax penalties. That move did not sit well with James, according to sources, who was left on an island in the 4-1 series defeat to San Antonio. Bosh and Wade are also expected to opt out of their contracts and become free agents." (Arison) will do anything to get those guys to come back," Riley said last week. "There's been a perception out there that I think has been construed in some way about him not wanting to pay the tax. That's BS. He's been paying the tax for three years."
Sidebar:After that Playoff series I would opt out too.