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NBA: LeBron James dumps Heat deal for free agency

Published on Jun 25, 2014 6:30 AM
This June 11, 2014 file photo shows Miami Heat LeBron James during a press conference ahead of game 4 of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs in Miami, Florida. -- PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - NBA superstar LeBron James told the Miami Heat on Tuesday that he will exercise an early termination option in his contract and become a free agent.

Richie Paul, James' agent, told the team of his client's decision, which came ahead of a deadline next Monday to decide whether or not to opt out of the last two years of his Miami contract.

Heat president Pat Riley claimed the move was not a surprise and that he looks forward to new contract talks with the NBA's biggest current star.

"I was informed this morning of his intentions," Riley said in a statement. "We fully expected LeBron to opt-out and exercise his free agent rights, so this does not come as a surprise." The move does not prevent James from re-signing with the Heat, and could give the club greater flexibility to add talent and remain within NBA salary cap rules.

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