Wade, Bosh, Haslem opting out
Agent Henry Thomas, who represents all three players, told ESPN he spoke with Heat president Pat Riley on Saturday to inform him of Wade and Haslem's choices.
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Thomas, meanwhile, said Bosh has not decided on whether to opt out, but sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that the All-Star big man will indeed follow suit and choose free agency by Monday's midnight ET deadline.
"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."
Wade will opt out of two years and $41.8 million, Bosh will opt out of two years and $42.6 million, and Haslem will not exercise his player option of $4.6 million.
Bosh will head into free agency willing to accept a pay cut from the $20 million he was owed next year, sources said. Haslem is looking for a multiyear deal that will assure him more guaranteed money than what he originally was owed next season but is also willing to take a pay cut, according to a source.
If Wade and James are willing to accept reductions in pay as well, the Heat potentially would be able to open a salary slot to add another player. The team is known to be interested in Toronto Raptors free agent point guard Kyle Lowry.
The flurry of opt-outs to create cap room also makes the Heat eligible to use the $2.7 million room exception in a separate deal to add a role player.
Wade and Bosh came to the decision to opt out of their contracts following a meeting with James on Wednesday in Miami.
The three have collaborated on their contracts dating to 2006, when they all decided to pass on five-year contracts to sign three-year deals with separate teams, setting them up to be free agents together in 2010. That year, they all worked together to sign deals that enabled them to hit the open market again this summer.
In recent days, teams that have hoped to schedule pitch meetings with James once the free-agency period begins next week have been unable to do so, sources told ESPN.com.
When James was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in 2010, he set up meetings with six teams in the days leading up to July 1.