What Happens to the Cleveland Cavaliers if LeBron James Leaves?

Mike B.Correspondent IAugust 28, 2009

Okay, I already know what you're thinking: Oh great, another "LeBron James Will Leave When He Becomes a Free Agent in 2010" article.

Yes, I'm aware that he'll most likely re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers next summer instead of heading to either the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets.

But, I decided to write the always fun "what if" story anyway.

If James does decide to sign elsewhere, what will happen to the Cavaliers?

That's a question Cavs fans don't even want to think about.

With the big contracts of Shaquille O'Neal and Zydrunas Ilguaskas coming off the books next summer, the Cavs would have a significant amount of cap space to offer free agents like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Amar'e Stoudemire.

However, those guys wouldn't want to come to Cleveland.

That being said, the Cavs would immediately go from one of the top teams in the league to what they were before Lebron arrived in 2003—absolutely awful. 

What, they couldn't win with a team led by holdovers Mo Williams, Delonte West, and Anderson Varejao?

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Never. The only thing the Cavs would have a shot at winning is the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery.

The Cavs would have to attempt to rebuild though the draft and hope and pray that they'd land the next Tim Duncan or Chris Paul.

But, Cavs fans don't worry, LeBron isn't going anywhere.

Next summer, he'll sign an expensive contract extension as expected and remain in Ohio until the day he retires. And of course, he'll win a couple of championships along the way.

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