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Bulls

LeBron opt-out, free agency coming

Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) fouls San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan (21) as he tries to steal the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. The Heat won 113-101. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) fouls San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan (21) as he tries to steal the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. The Heat won 113-101. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

MIAMI – A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that LeBron James has decided to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Miami Heat and become a free agent on July 1.

Opting out does not mean James has decided to leave the Heat, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the four-time NBA MVP nor the team had made any public announcement.

James had two years and about $42.7 million remaining on his deal with the Heat. In his four seasons in Miami, the Heat have gone to the NBA Finals four times, winning two championships.

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