James was among the Heat players who met with the coaching staff for season exit interviews Tuesday, two days after a demoralizing loss in five games to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals.
James said he was still largely dealing with the disappointment and sting from one of the most lopsided series in NBA history in which the Heat fell short of their quest for a third straight championship.
But the focus for the Heat now shifts to uncertain futures of their core players, with James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all able to opt out of their contracts later this month to potentially test free agency.
James remained non-committal about his decision, but said all three players would get away with their families for a few days and then eventually meet to plot their respective course.
James, Wade and Bosh each have two seasons and at least $40 million remaining on the contracts they signed in 2010.
“There is a conversation that will be had between the three of us — I think that’s only right,” James said. “We’ve earned that for each other. I don’t know what Dwyane right now is thinking. I don’t know what Chris is thinking right now. We’ll see what happens.”
Wade elected not to speak with reporters after his exit interview, which is the first time he’s made that decision in the four seasons he has played with James and Bosh. Wade is coming off the worst performance in five trips to the Finals and was the subject of criticism for his sluggish overall play.
After a breakout series against Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals to help lead the Heat to their fourth straight Finals appearance, Wade averaged 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in the series against the Spurs. He shot just 43.8 percent from the field.
Bosh on Tuesday maintained that he wants to stay in Miami and believes the Heat’s core will return intact. But he also anticipated there would have to be serious discussions among the players, team president Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison about the notion that the Big Three might have to opt out of their contracts and accept less money to create cap space to improve the roster.
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