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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

LeBron James will opt out of Miami Heat contract

LeBron James trophiesLet the games begin. As expected, LeBron James has informed the Miami Heat that he will opt out of the final year of his contract. By exercising his early termination option, LeBron will officially become a free agent on July 1.

This, of course, does not necessarily mean that James is going to leave the Heat. No one expected him to pass up the opportunity to be courted once again, eventually signing a fatter contract that includes more money over a longer period of time. However, speculation has already begun building that LeBron could skip town.

A team like the Houston Rockets makes the most sense (aside from Miami, of course). The Rockets can clear the cap space needed to sign LeBron and already have a solid team with Dwight Howard and James Harden leading the way. They’d be an instant championship contender. The Chicago Bulls — with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson — are another intriguing option if they can make room for a max contract.

If LeBron does leave Miami, I see the Rockets being more realistic than the Bulls. Chicago is always going to be Michael Jordan’s city, and LeBron wants to leave his own unique legacy behind when he retires. Winning a championship with the Bulls would not help that much.

And then there are the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron has admitted the whole “The Decision” fiasco was not handled the right way. He embarrassed the Cavs and made a spectacle of himself unlike any athlete had ever done before him. He also left his hometown for the bright lights and celebrity lifestyle of South Beach, which two championship rings will tell you is a decision that paid off.

The Cavs have the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft. In theory, they could try to deal that for a superstar player that would entice LeBron to come back. Unfortunately for the people of Cleveland, it just doesn’t seem like a realistic possibility.

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