LeBron James opted out from his final two years $42.7 million-worth contract with Miami Heat.
Rich Paul, James’ agent confirmed this decision, which means the four-time NBA MVP is a free agent after July 1.
However, there is still no certainty whether he will leave Miami or not. Where he’ll play next season will be another highly anticipated news in the world of NBA.
He will once again be the most pursued player in the history of NBA. However, just a few teams have the capacity to give James his very high asking price.
James’ hefty pay is capped at a maximum amount that is allowed by the collective bargaining agreement of the league. Players’ maximum salaries are based on the percentage of NBA’s salary cap for the most recent season. The projected salary cap for next season is estimated at a maximum of $63.2 million. Since James has played over 10 years, his biggest maximum salary tier could reach up to $22.12 million.
If he chooses to stick with Miami Heat, he would earn $20 million for 2015. But, should he re-sign with the team, he still can ask more than what was originally slated for him.
Maximum salaries are usually hypothetical estimates though, according to experts. There is a big possibility James wont take maximum salary to help Miami Heat sign Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.
A lot of sports critics even argue that James would still stick with Miami, and that this move is just a message to his team after being defeated by San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals.
Other teams that has the capacity to give James a salary worth more than $20 million include Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and, yes, Los Angeles Lakers, where everybody wants him to be.