This however does not mean he will not be on the Heat next season.
It simply allows him to negotiate a new deal, and explore the market. He could also choose to lower his salary demands to free up cap space to help Miami attract a free agent like Carmelo Anthony.
Teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have also moved to exercise their opt-out options.
There is no standout team making waves in pursuit of LeBron, leading many to assume the saga will end up with him electing to re-sign in Miami. He will be eligible to do so on July 10.
It is not quite clear cut however. He is being proactive in considering alternatives, and is open to hearing at least what he could earn elsewhere, as well as listening to pitches from a sporting perspective.
A new report via ESPN claims his agent Rich Paul has met with four teams, and will meet with a fifth today, the LA Lakers.
"Sources told ESPN.com that the Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and James' home state Cavaliers have had the opportunity to make presentations to Paul in recent days.
"In addition, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was flying to Cleveland on Thursday night and was scheduled to meet with Paul on Friday."
The Lakers and Rockets are both believed to be in the mix for Carmelo Anthony, who is expected to move on from the New York Knicks this summer.
Each team would be remiss at least not to explore the possibility of signing four-time MVP LeBron James, but whether any will be able to remains to be seen.
If he does move on, the landscape of the NBA will change significantly, and Miami's future direction will also come into question.