MIAMI – Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh told the Miami Heat on Saturday they are opting out of their contracts and will become free agents on Tuesday — the same decision LeBron James revealed during the week.
Also, Udonis Haslem told the Heat he will not pick up his $4.6 million option for next season.
Strange as it may sound, all those decisions to become free agents are considered good for the Heat, since those four moves alone free up about $66 million in what would have been salary for next season. It also gives Miami tons of flexibility to lure those players back into new deals — plus have enough money left over to make additional roster upgrades.
“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,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “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.”
The Heat did not immediately confirm Bosh’s decision. A person with knowledge of the move said Bosh told the Heat that not only was he opting out, but that he was hoping to find a way to stay in Miami.
It’s expected that each of the “Big 3″ will talk to other teams when the free-agent shopping window opens on Tuesday. James has already been mentioned as a target of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Chicago Bulls, the Houston Rockets — and, of course, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team for whom he spent his first seven seasons before he, Wade and Bosh teamed up in Miami during the summer of 2010.
But things are already looking good for Miami, which got the rights to guard Shabazz Napier on draft night — and Napier just happened to be James’ favorite player in the draft.
Kidd done in Brooklyn?
New York — Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd is talking to the Milwaukee Bucks about a position after losing his bid for front-office power with the Nets, a person with knowledge of the details said Saturday.
The Nets denied Kidd’s request and then told him he was free to talk to other teams about jobs, the person told AP on condition of anonymity because no official comments were made about the situation. The Bucks then sought and were granted permission to interview Kidd.
The news was first reported by the New York Post.
Kidd just finished his first season as coach, leading the Nets to a 44-38 record and a second-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat. It’s unclear what role the Bucks would be interested in him for, since they have both coach Larry Drew and general manager John Hammond under contract.
Kidd is close with new Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, who along with Wes Edens recently bought the team for $550 million.