Rumor Central: Willie Reed informs Heat he's opting for free agency

Miami Heat forward Willie Reed has a player option for 2017-18 worth $1.57 million. Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Willie Reed has informed the Miami Heat that he will decline his 2017-18 player option that's worth the four-year veteran minimum of $1.57 million, reports The Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Reed will officially become a free agent at the end of June when the deadline to pick up the option expires on the 29th.

Rumor Central

Reed played well as the backup center behind Hassan Whiteside this season, and at 27 years old, this is the time when he needs to cash in as much as he can. With that in mind, Reed could have a tough choice in July should another team come in with a high-dollar offer that Heat president Pat Riley may elect to pass on matching.

"I don't know if people can say no to Pat Riley or not," Reed said recently. "Hopefully I won't have to say no to him."

If Riley uses all of Miami's cap room on other free agents, he can still offer all, or some, of the "Room" exception that's worth $4.32 million to re-sign Reed. For now, Reed will continue to work out at Miami's training facility until free agency begins on July 1.

"We spoke just about how a good season it was and how I progressed and have grown," Reed said. "But there haven't been talks about anything else yet, kind of just coming in here and just working out, making sure they see you and let them know that I love being here and I want it to work out."

In 71 appearances, Reed averaged 5.3 points and 4.7 rebounds.

-- Nick Silva