NBA: Will LeBron James follow Carmelo Anthony into free agency?

LeBron James at Miami Heat

The New York Knicks star will opt out of his contract this summer, but will the Miami Heat's four-time MVP join him?

After reports surfaced that Carmelo Anthony intends to opt out of his contract with the New York Knicks and test free agency this summer, attentions will now turn to the other major contract issue still up in the air at this point - will LeBron James opt out of his own deal?

With the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year and looking to secure a rare three-peat, it should be unthinkable that the four-time MVP would want to leave South Beach.

However, the Heat are on the verge of falling at the final hurdle after suffering consecutive beat-downs at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. They trail 3-1 in the series, and the future is not particularly promising if the Heat's roster is not vastly improved next year.

The Heat's 'Big Three' has looked very much like a one-man show in the Finals this year. Dwyane Wade is clearly fatigued and is a shadow of the player he was when Miami's stars first came together in 2010.

Chris Bosh remains one of the best big men in the NBA and has been an incredible teammate for James, putting the team ahead of personal stats and accolades. However, the center has been stuck in a slump against San Antonio, dominated by Hall of Famer Tim Duncan.

If the Heat lose in the Finals as expected James will need to take a long hard look at where he has the best chance of winning multiple titles. The Heat's aging roster is not built to last, and he may decide that an aging Wade can no longer be relied on as his second in command.

Returning home to Cleveland may well be an enticing option for James. A roster built on Kyrie Irving and the top pick in this year's draft would present the Akron-born superstar an opportunity to contend for years to come and potentially win championships for the team he started his career with. James certainly has unfinished business in Cleveland after his unceremonious departure in 2010.

Another option for James would be heading to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers. However, this is a longshot, as the situation in LA see LeBron face the same problems that he has in Miami. He would have to rely on Kobe Bryant returning to something close to peak performance and the Lakers' ability to attract top-level talent.

Finally, LeBron could stay in Miami with Wade and Bosh, with all three taking pay cuts to bring in Anthony, thereby forming a 'Big Four'. This would be an incredible move for the Heat to pull off, and would place them as title frontrunners for the forseeable future.

The Big Three will come together to discuss their futures this summer. If James does decide to opt out there will be a re-run of his infamous 'Decision' in 2010, with his destination certain to have a huge effect on the NBA landscape.