In order to create more cap space in hopes of keeping LeBron James in Miami, Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem opted out of their contracts Saturday with Chris Bosh expected to follow.
They will be eligible to resign to long-term deals that will create more cap flexibility in the short term, giving the Heat a chance to re-sign James and put together a revamped roster for another championship run. James already opted out of the final two years of his contract worth $42.7 million.
However, James may not be willing to take a pay cut himself. According to a Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, James is seeking the maximum contract allowed by the NBA.
While Bosh, Wade and Haslem could ultimately take less money with the early termination outs in their deals, James, the NBA’s four-time MVP, is seeking a full maximum contract extension – or something close to it – to stay with Miami, sources told Yahoo Sports.
James is eligible to sign a five-year, $130 million extension with the Heat.
Wojnarowski adds that James top priority is staying in Miami, but only if Pat Riley can put together a promising roster. However,a failure to do so could force James to seriously consider other options in free agency.
Teams can start negotiating with free agents when the period begins on July 1, but cannot officially sign players until July 10.