LeBron James has decided against taking up the option on the final year of his £27million contract at Cleveland Cavaliers, opting to become a free agent instead.
James had until 11:59pm ET on Friday (04:59 BST Saturday) to let the Cavs know about his eagerly-anticipated decision before the option expired.
The move was expected by the three-time champion, who played in his eighth straight NBA Finals this past season.
The 33-year-old will now decide if he’s going to leave the Cavs for the second time in eight years.
In 2010, he bolted for Miami and spent four seasons with the Heat, winning two titles, before returning home to Northeast Ohio.
James said he’ll factor family into his next choice and there’s still a chance he’ll re-sign with the Cavs, who were swept by Golden State in this year’s Finals.
His decision will make the four-time MVP the stand-out player in a star-studded free agent class that consists of the likes of Paul George, Chris Paul and DeMarcus Cousins.
At midnight on Saturday when free agency begins, James will not be short of suitors should he leave his hometown franchise again.
And the balance of power could shift should James leave the Cavs to potentially create a new superteam with the Los Angeles Lakers or move to a growing power like the Houston Rockets or Philadelphia 76ers.