Sep 30, 2013, 1:23 PM EDT
It will be one of the two big storylines that follow the Heat all season (along with can they three-peat):
Will LeBron James bolt next summer for a new team?
He can and almost certainly will opt out of his contract at the end of this season, seeking the security of a longer deal (the Heat can give him five years, other teams four).
The theory LeBron bolts Miami goes like this: He went to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but Bosh has subjugated his game and Wade is slowing down with age, something that really showed the last couple years. LeBron will look at his situation, look at Wade’s play and bad knees, then bolt to go win titles somewhere else.
Wade wanted nothing to do with that at media day before the Heat open training camp.
Dwyane Wade on LeBron's decision hanging on his play: "Don't try to put that pressure on me. I'm going to stop that right now."—
Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) September 30, 2013
LeBron refused to discuss free agency or if he’d opt out at media day.
LeBron’s decision is going to come down to more than just Wade’s play this season — at the heart of the question is does he trust Pat Riley to keep recruiting players and working the roster to keep a contending team around him in Miami?
Wade factors into that equation, but remember Wade and LeBron are friends and that factors in a lot, too. I still think it’s unlikely he bolts, but what he sees this season and what that could mean for the Heat going forward will play a role.
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