Report: LeBron James opts out of Cavs contract and will become a free agent

2018 NBA Finals - Game Four

LeBron James had to inform the Cleveland Cavaliers if he intended to opt in or out of his contract by the end of Friday. 

The four-time MVP, however, has decided not to drag things out any further and has finally given the Cavs his answer. 

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the superstar has chosen to decline his $35.6 million player option and opt out to become an unrestricted free agent. 

This will now make him the headline name on a star-studded class of free agents this summer which includes Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins and Chris, as well as others. 

The LeBron rumours will now intensify as he prepares to officially hit the open market on July 1 and speak to other teams. 

James can alter the entire landscape of the league if he chooses to leave Cleveland and potentially create a new super team elsewhere. 

The Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers are expected to make the most aggressive moves to land the three-time NBA champion. 

The league's moratorium period prevents players and teams from signing contracts until July 6 but they're able to verbally agree on terms. 

Fans in Ohio will now hold its breath as they prepare to experience their hometown star go through the free agency period again. 

The 33-year-old famously took his talents to South Beach and joined the Miami Heat in 2010, becoming public enemy number one in 'The Land' with the way he announced his departure live on ESPN. 

But in 2014, the 13-time All-Star returned home and declared that he had unfinished business, making a promise to deliver the franchise its first championship. 

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He fulfilled it in 2016 as he dramatically led the Cavaliers to a victory over the Golden State Warriors, becoming the first team in NBA history to overturn a 3-1 deficit. 

Despite reaching two more finals since that incredible triumph, the Cavs have been no match for the Dubs, losing in back-to-back years. 

After the departure of Kyrie Irving last summer, James has been a lone soldier for much of the year and almost single-handedly dragged his team back to the finals. 

2018 NBA Finals - Game Three

But the gulf in quality was evident as they suffered a humiliating sweep to the men from the Bay Area. 

It was a disappointing end to what was arguably his best individual campaign in the league. 

He played all 82 games for the first time and averaged 27.5 points, 8.6 rebounds per game and a career high 9.1 assists per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field.

LBJ followed that up in the playoffs by posting 34 points, 9.1 rebounds and nine assists while shooting 53.9 percent.

At Monday's NBA Awards, he came second in the MVP voting behind Houston's James Harden.

The big question all season has been whether the Akron native will leave Cleveland again and it's almost time for him to provide us with an answer.

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