(Photo Credit: www.time.com)
ESPN was first to break the news this morning that LeBron James has officially decided to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat. Since then, James’ fans and haters alike have been speculating as to what this could mean, and what effect it would have on Miami’s future. Ah, the circus that is NBA free agency.
James was supposed to earn $20.5 million next season and $22.1 million in 2015-16.
Now he has three choices. He can either sign a five-year maximum deal with the Heat for roughly $130 million, sign a deal for less money and less time with the team, or sign a four-year deal worth up to $96 million with another team.
In other words, James opting out does not necessarily mean he is going anywhere.
What else you should know:
Teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have yet to come forward with their own courses of action.
James has not yet set up any meetings, but may do so after July 1.
James has always valued winning championships over everything; therefore, it is unlikely that money is acting as the main motivator for any of his decisions.
The photo that James’ wife Savannah posted on her Instagram, is probably not an indication of anything more than her excitement to go back home for the summer.
In James’ own words:
“Being able to have flexibility as a professional, anyone, that’s what we all would like,” he stated last week. “That’s in any sport, for a football player, a baseball player, a basketball player, to have flexibility and be able to control your future or your present. I have a position to be able to do that. … There’s a lot of times that you’re not in control of your future as a professional.”
Although the dramatics of this offseason may not send the league into as much chaos as “The Decision” did, I am willing to bet things are still going to get crazy, and soon. Buckle up folks, the ride is about to start.