Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - All-Star center Chris Bosh informed the Miami Heat Sunday that he will exercise an early termination clause in his contract, becoming the third and final member of the team's "Big Three" to opt out in the past week.
Bosh's decision comes five days after LeBron James declined his player option, with Dwyane Wade following suit on Saturday. Forward Udonis Haslem also elected to become a free agent.
The Heat now have a whopping $55 million in salary cap space entering the free agent period, which could enable the Eastern Conference champions to re-sign James, Wade and Bosh while also adding a significant player to the roster.
Both Wade and Bosh have publicly stated they are open to taking a reduced salary in order to retain James and allow the Heat to continue to field a title contender.
Miami has reached the NBA Finals in all four seasons since Bosh and James each joined the team as free agents in the summer of 2010. After falling to Dallas in the subsequent season, the Heat captured back-to-back league championships before having the streak end with a five-game loss to the San Antonio Spurs in this year's Finals.
Bosh again played a major part in the latest run, averaging 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds over 79 regular-season games. The nine-time All-Star has averaged 17.3 points and 7.4 boards per game during his four-year tenure with the Heat.
"Chris is one of the most versatile and dynamic big men in this league, and he has been an instrumental key to our championship success over the last four seasons," Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement. "We look forward to meeting with Chris and his agent in the coming days to discuss keeping him in Miami for many years to come."