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Chris Bosh officially opts out

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Pat Riley hopes to keep Bosh in a Heat uniform "for many years to come."

Andy Lyons

The Associated Press' Tim Reynolds reported today that Chris Bosh has officially told Miami Heat executives that he will opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Yesterday, ESPN's Chris Broussard tweeted that Bosh had opted out, but TNT's David Aldridge said that Bosh's agent, Henry Thomas -- who also represents Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem -- said that Bosh had not decided yet. The decision, apparently, has been made now.

Shortly after news broke about Bosh's decision, Pat Riley released a statement praising Bosh as "one of the most versatile and dynamic big men in this league", noting how he "has been an instrumental key to our championship success over the last four seasons." Riley added that he hopes Bosh remains with Miami "for many years to come."

This decision -- along with LeBron James, Wade and Haslem also deciding to opt out -- gives the team flexibility. Should the four re-sign for less money collectively than the salary cap -- expected to stand around $63 million for the 2014-15 season -- the Heat will gain room for free agents.

Earlier today, ESPN reported that James, Wade and Bosh have discussed the financial terms of new contracts with Miami -- leading some to assert that it is already a foregone conclusion that the Big Three will re-sign. The only remaining drama may center not on whether the Big Three will re-sign, but who will surround them. Previous reports have linked the Heat to Kyle Lowry and Marcin Gortat.