Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has opted out of the last year of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent, according to Joe Vardon of

Despite having another 16 hours to do so, James informed the Cavs that he will not exercise the $35.6 million left for the last year of his contract, allowing him to explore the free agent waters for the first time since 2014, when he chose to return to the Cavaliers.

While this decision surely helps out the inquiring Lakers, it does not guarantee his departure, as the Cavs can still sign him to the biggest deal available in the form of a five-year, $207.4 million supermax contract — much more than any other team could offer.

James will enter free agency in July 1, able to negotiate deals until deals are able to be signed on July 6, once the moratorium is over.