LeBron James went first. Dwyane Wade followed a few days later. And now Chris Bosh has made it a clean sweep.
The Big Three, for now anyway, are free. And Pat Riley will soon have the chance to make the Miami Heat even better.
Bosh told the Heat on Sunday that he, like James and Wade, will be exercising the early-termination option in his contract and forgoing the final two years on his deal — making him a free agent.
The move was not unexpected, and gives the Heat a gigantic amount of financial flexibility to shop with when the free agent window officially opens at midnight Tuesday.
Bosh’s decision was the last domino that the Heat needed to fall in order to free the biggest amount of money possible heading into free agency.
‘‘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,’’ said Riley, the Heat president who expressed similar sentiments when James opted out Tuesday and Wade exercised his option Saturday.
Like James, Bosh could have made $20,590,000 this coming season, and $22,112,500 in the 2015-16 season. Wade was due to make slightly less in each of those years, but between those three and Udonis Haslem — who did not exercise a player option to make $4.6 million next season — that’s about $66 million in salary that Miami could have been locked in to paying if these decisions went another way.
Suns big-game hunting
The Phoenix Suns are among the teams interested in pursuing James and Carmelo Anthony, according to Yahoo Sports. The Suns have the flexibility to sign both players, who opted out of their contracts last week and are the biggest names on the market. Although salary-cap structures make it prohibitive for other teams to fit James and Anthony without gutting a roster, Phoenix general manager RyanMcDonough has constructed a realistic scenario, league sources told Yahoo . . . A person with knowledge of the deal told the AP that the Raptors have agreed to trade veteran forward John Salmons to the Hawks for Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira and guard Lou Williams . . . Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson has been discussed internally by the Nets as a possible replacement for Jason Kidd, ESPN reported. A year after taking over as coach, Kidd’s bid for more power was denied by the Nets, who told him he was free to talk to other teams. The Bucks were granted permission to interview Kidd. According to a CBS Sports report, Kidd has only been offered a coaching position by the Bucks, who are offering second-round picks rather than a first-rounder as compensation to the Nets.