Udonis Haslem has opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat and will become an unrestricted free agent according to a report.
Haslem was set to earn $4.6 million in 2014-15 but will now likely work out a longer term contract with less money annually. This will give the Heat more flexibility in terms of the salary cap and could go a long way to retaining their three big stars.
If Haslem had opted in, it would've been difficult for the Heat to keep LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade while fielding a supporting cast. With his salary for next season now reduced, the team can not only move forward on signing the three stars but could even add another talented player to the mix.
It remains a very unlikely scenario that the Heat bring Carmelo Anthony on board to join their "Big Three" but Haslem's opt-out does increase those odds slightly. There is now more money for Pat Riley to play with as he rebuilds the roster.
The 34-year old has been with the Heat for his entire career and now should sign a deal to finish his run in Miami. It is likely that the Heat will reward Haslem for his team commitment and give him a deal for a few seasons. That is a contract that he likely would have difficulty landing on the open market.
Wade and Bosh have still not announced their intentions but if they opt out as well, the Heat will have virtually their entire salary cap available to them.