Chris Bosh, through a representative, informed the Miami Heat, he is opting out of the remaining two years of the contract he signed in July 2010. Bosh joins LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as a free agent. (Andy Lyons / Getty Images)
Chris Bosh’s representative representative informed Heat president Pat Riley Sunday that the forward was invoking his early-termination option and stepping away from the final two years on the free-agent contract he signed with the Heat in July 2010.
Bosh’s announcement came a day after Heat guard Dwyane Wade made a similar move and four days after Heat forward LeBron James opted out of the final two years of his contract.
For now, it makes the Heat’s Big Three the Big Free, with NBA free agency opening Tuesday.
Whether the Heat stars actually dip their toes into any other free-agent waters is another question, with the lockstep moves indicating a willingness by the three to work with Riley to revamp a roster that ran out of steam in falling 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this month in the NBA Finals.
As he did when James, Wade and Heat power forward Udonis Haslem removed themselves from the team’s books, Riley issued a forward-thinking statement upon Bosh’s Sunday announcement.
“Today,” Riley said, “we were notified of Chris’ intentions to opt-out of his contract. Chris is one of the most versatile and dynamic big men in this league, and he has been an instrumental key to our championship success over the last four seasons. We look forward to meeting with Chris and his agent in the coming days to discuss keeping him in Miami for many years to come.”
Both before and after the Heat’s demise against the Spurs, each of the Heat’s stars spoke of bolstering the team to contend for years to come. With their decisions, they have eased the salary-cap and luxury-tax burdens on Riley, while also putting the team on the clock in free agency.
While the free-agency negotiating period begins July 1, teams cannot sign free agents until July 10.
For the moment, the only players under contract to the Heat are guard Norris Cole and rookie center Justin Hamilton, whose contact does not become partially guaranteed until Aug. 1. The upshot is an NBA-record $55 million in salary-cap space and other salary-cap exceptions for Riley to utilize in a makeover anticipated to retain James, Bosh and Wade as the focus.
Bosh lagged in his decision behind his star teammates due to a procedural matter, in the end opting out of $42.6 million otherwise due over the next two seasons, the same amount James bypassed.
James, Wade and Bosh already have strategized collectively about their next Heat contracts and their desires for the front office’s objectives.
The NBA typically frowns on salary collusion, but the collective approach by James, Wade and Bosh does not violate any NBA policies.
Depending on Riley’s approach, the Heat either could pool their newly minted salary-cap space for a single A-list free agent along the lines of Carmelo Anthony or Kyle Lowry, or could utilize a variety of machinations to add a variety of supporting players.
The Heat’s strategies are expected to leave open the door for returns by guard Ray Allen and center Chris Andersen, but invitations could require salary concessions by those and others who finished this past season on the roster.
Sources: Hawks swing deal
A person with knowledge of the deal tells the Associated Press that the Toronto Raptors have agreed to trade John Salmons to the Atlanta Hawks for Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira and veteran guard Lou Williams.
The person requested anonymity because the trade has not been officially announced.
Nogueira was the 16th overall pick last year. He will team with fellow Brazilian Bruno Caboclo, who the Raptors drafted with the 20th pick last week. Williams can provide some scoring punch off the bench.
The Hawks can buyout Salmons’ $7 million contract to free up more salary cap room to give them the prime flexibility once the market opens.