Superstar forward LeBron James has officially informed the Miami Heat that he will opt out of the final year of his contract and enter unrestricted free agency. Let the games begin.
Other NBA teams can officially make offers for James to consider on July 1st, but King James will undoubtedly be hearing pitches well before then.
Now a part of the same crazy summer that includes Carmelo Anthony as a free agent and Kevin Love trade rumors, James will likely be vaulted to the top of everyone’s wish list.
James is widely expected to return to the Heat on a new deal, but the fact that he is a free agent leaves the door open to another team convincing him that he could have it better with them.
Among the more realistic options could be the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, while even James’ former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, could have a shot at bringing him back.
James may find the idea of playing alongside Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles attractive, while another L.A.-based team – the Clippers, could be in play. James and his wife have been reported to be fans of the Los Angeles area, while the Clippers could be one piece away from taking the next step in the playoffs.
While many don’t view James leaving a realistic possibility, the Heat’s inability to bring home this year’s NBA Finals trophy could potentially push him away. After all, the Heat have a rapidly aging supporting cast, while both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh failed to rise up and help James in the biggest series of the year.
When it comes to making his final decision, it’s entirely possible James looks for a new scene where he can get the help he needs to win multiple championships. If he decides Miami isn’t where that is going to happen, he could very well be playing in a new city in 2014.