NBA - LeBron James opts out of contract, becomes free agent

NBA superstar LeBron James has opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat and will become a free agent this summer.

Basketball - James buries hatchet with Cavaliers' owner

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LeBron James has opted out of his Miami Heat contract

ESPN reports that James’s agent has informed the team of his decision to exercise an early termination option four years into a six-year contract with the Heat.

James – widely acclaimed as the world’s best basketball player and one of the greatest ever – has won two NBA titles and two MVP awards in Florida. However, the Heat were well beaten by the San Antonio Spurs in this month’s NBA Finals.

The 29-year-old, who was due to make $20 million (£11.8m) with the Heat next season, will become an unrestricted free agent and is sure to attract huge interest from around the league.

While the decision does not rule James out of re-signing with the Heat on an improved contract, he has been linked with a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, whom he left in 2010 to join Miami.

Speculation intensified after his wife Savannah James made an Instagram post calling James's hometown of Akron, Ohio - 30 miles from Cleveland - 'Home Sweet Home'.

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Several teams including the Houston Rockets and Michael Jordan’s former team the Chicago Bulls are also believed to be in the running.

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