With the 2010-2011 season campaign dead and gone, all eyes in South Florida are glued to the future in wait of discovering what moves Pat Riley and the Miami Heat will make in order to get LeBron James and Chris Bosh their first rings.
And while Riley hasn't been able to make any official calls just yet, a few of the players have already exercised their right to do so. Sort of.
Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas announced last week that he would be exercising his player option to return to South Beach for the 2011-2012 season (if there is one). The final two players with options were sharp shooters James Jones and Eddie House.
On Wednesday, sources within the Miami Heat organization revealed that Jones would not be exercising his player option for next season, thus making him an unresricted free agent. House, on the other hand, made the decision today to exercise his option and return to the Heat this fall.
No Sure Thing
Despite these moves being announced, it should be noted that nothing at this point is a "sure thing". Sure, Ilgauskas and House may have formally accepted their invitations to return to the Heat organization, but all that's guarunateed to them is the chance to compete for a spot on the Heat's final roster.
The Heat may choose to cut either one of, or both Ilgauskas and House. However, with the new collective bargaining agreement setting up to be much more restrictive than it was in the past, there's a good chance both Big Z and House will be suiting up for the Heat if the 2011-2012 season ever does begin.
The same goes for Jones, but it's probably safe to say his decision to become a free agent is almost a sure indication that he will not return to the Heat in the future. Jones' decision points to two scenarios - wanting more of an increased role or a bigger pay day.
Chances are it's a little bit of both.
After having an exceptional year from shooting beyond the arc and at the same time reaching the benchmark age of 30, Jones may be realizing his days to cash in may be numbered. After all, Jones is a very smart individual, having obtained a finance degree from the University of Miami and also currently serving as the Treasurer of the NBA Players Union.
A Jones return to his native Miami should not be ruled out, but at the moment the chances are bleak.
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