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Bosh also opts out

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Bosh also opts out

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MIAMI (AP) – LeBron James went first. Dwyane Wade followed a few days later. And now Chris Bosh has made it a clean sweep.
The Heatles, as the Miami Heat trio is known, are free, for now anyway.
Bosh told the Heat yesterday that he, like James and Wade, will be exercising the early termination option in his contract and forgoing the final two years on his Miami deal – making him a free agent.
The move was not unexpected, and gives the Heat a gigantic amount of financial flexibility to shop with when the free-agent window officially opens at midnight Tuesday.
Bosh’s decision was the last domino that the Heat needed to fall in order to free up the biggest amount of money possible heading into free agency. In pro North American sports, players are free to negotiate with any team once their contracts are up.
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh famously teamed up in 2010 to accept a little less than the NBA’s maximum salaries in 2010, allowing Miami to sign all three and afford help around them. That was the last time free agency was accompanied by the sort of frenzy that will envelop the NBA over the next few weeks.
If Miami’s Big Three do something similar now, that could allow the Heat to replenish their roster, which would have been nearly impossible if they had decided to keep playing under their existing contracts.
James, basketball’s biggest star, averaged 27.1 points this past season. He turns 30 next season and might just be entering his prime.
In James’ four seasons in Miami, the Heat have been to the NBA Finals in each of those years, winning two championships and more games than any other team over that span. James seems to have largely recovered from the hit his image took when he left hometown Cleveland for Miami, often saying he’s much happier now as a person than he was then.
Like James, Bosh could have made US $20 590,000 this coming season, and $22 112,500 in the 2015-16 season. Wade was due to make slightly less in each of those years, but between those three and Udonis Haslem – who did not exercise a player option to make $4.6 million next season – that’s about $66 million in salary that Miami could have been locked in to paying if these decisions went another way.
Instead, the thinking seems to be that in order for the Heat to get better, players knew they needed to give Heat President Pat Riley room to work.