LeBron James opts out of Miami Heat contract, free agent as of July 1

in Uncategorized by

LeBron James has announced he will be opting out of his contract with the Miami Heat to be a free agent this summer.

James’ agent, Rich Paul, informed the Heat of the decision to exercise termination option of the remaining two years of his contract, becoming a free agent as of July 1.

James could return to Miami with a new deal, but the move has also fueled a wave of speculation of where the star forward will play next. Opting out does not suggest LeBron James will actually leave the Heat; it only allows him to explore other opportunities.

Miami Heat president Pat Riley will now be under pressure to regain James’ services again as he did in 2010. LeBron James’ contract would have earned him $20.5 million next season if it continues through 2016, with the player option of $22.1 million.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.