LeBron James will have some company on the free agent wire after fellow Big Three teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have reportedly decided to opt out of their contracts.
Longtime Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem will join his teammates, leaving the Heat with $55 million in cap space.
The Heat have already made it known that they want to keep both Wade and Haslem.
“Dwyane has been the cornerstone of our organization for over a decade, and we hope he remains a part of the HEAT family for life,” Riley said in a statement. “Udonis has been the heartbeat of this team for 11 years. He has sacrificed countless times to make this organization successful, and he is the epitome of what this organization stands for. We look forward to meeting with Dwyane and Udonis and their agent in the coming days to discuss our future together.”
While Haslem and Wade have both made their decisions to opt out official, Bosh has not made an official announcement. But ESPN The Magazine‘s Chris Broussard noted that he will likely make his intention known by Monday.
It has been rumored for weeks that Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James all planned to opt out and return to the Heat with lesser contracts, allowing the team to sign some supporting players.
The team’s lack of depth was exposed against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. With Dwyane Wade struggling, the full load fell on LeBron James and the Spurs took advantage.
Sources say that Chris Bosh had already expressed a willingness to take a pay cup from the $20 million he would be owed next season.
The Miami Heat appears to already be working to bring in more supporting players. In this week’s NBA draft the team picked Shabazz Napier, the UConn point guard who LeBron very openly wanted on the team.
The team is also expected to target Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.
But other teams will likely try to make an offer to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and LeBron James when they hit free agency on July 1. LeBron reportedly has at least five teams lined up to speak to.