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Turn up the heat: LeBron James elects to become free agent

LeBron JamesLeBron James
LeBron JamesChris Covatta—Getty Images

LeBron James, the four-time NBA MVP, will opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat, according to his agent Rich Paul.

James will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 by taking an early termination option for his contract, according to various media reports.

By becoming a free agent, James will not necessarily leave the Heat, reports say. He may attempt to strike up a new deal with the Heat, although now the team’s president Pat Riley will need to successfully recruit James, as in 2010 when the star forward moved from Cleveland.

James had until June 30 to make a decision about the status of his contact, which for the next season would have been worth over $20 million. His six-year deal with the Heat, meanwhile, was worth just over $109 million in total.

James has helped the Heat advance to the NBA Finals four times, including two championship wins.