AKRON, Ohio — LeBron James can opt of his contract with the Miami Heat in July 2014. It will be yearlong story, and James said he understands that.
But the four-time NBA MVP and back-to-back champion isn’t quite ready to go there yet.
“It’s too early (to talk about),” James told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I will get to a point where I have to cross that, but I haven’t really thought about it.”
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James, 28, averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists in leading the Heat to a Finals victory over the San Antonio Spurs in seven games this past season.
His ability to opt out and become a free agent at the end of next season could become an even bigger story.
“I understand people are going to talk about it, especially who I am and being in the position that I’m in,” James said.
“For me, I owe it to myself and I owe it to my teammates and the franchise to stay focused and understand what I’m there to do. I’m there to win a championship and not talk about free agency.”
James left Cleveland via free agency in July 2010 after seven seasons with the Cavaliers. Should James decide to explore free agency again next summer, sources close to him have told FOX Sports Ohio the Cavs are among the teams he will consider.
James is a native of Akron, Ohio, about a 45-minute drive south of Cleveland, and spends much of his offseason there. He played at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron before the Cavs selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
The Cavs have finished last in the Central Division in each of the three seasons since James departed.
Meanwhile, James and fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have pushed the Heat to three straight Finals appearances. They lost the first to the Dallas Mavericks in six games in 2011, before defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games a year later.
James could potentially join a 2014 free-agent class that may also include Wade, Bosh, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki.