Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Like teammate LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem have opted out of their contracts with the Miami Heat to test the free-agent market.
With the moves, the Heat now have an NBA-record $55 million in salary cap room.
According to agent Henry Thomas, who represents all three players, he spoke with Heat president Pat Riley to inform him of Wade and Haslem’s choices.
Bosh, meanwhile, has not officially informed the Heat of his decision but sources said he will follow suit by Monday’s midnight ET deadline.
Wade and Bosh came to the decision to opt out of their contracts following a meeting with James on Wednesday in Miami.
“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,” he added.
Riley said the team looks forward to meeting with Wade and Haslem 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.
Sources claimed Bosh will head into free agency willing to accept a pay cut from the $20 million he was owed next year
For his part, 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.
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 Heat also have been in trade talks involving Norris Cole in the wake of drafting point guard Shabazz Napier on Thursday night, with the goal of clearing Cole’s $2 million salary off the books.
The flurry of opt-outs to create cap room also makes the Heat eligible to use the $2.5 million room exception in a separate deal to add a role player.