Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert obviously doesn’t want to see LeBron James walk away from the Cavs again. However, if James should decide to take his talent elsewhere, just like he did back in July of 2010 when he announced he was leaving Cleveland to play with Miami, Gilbert believes he can continue to build on the Cavs' success, with or without LeBron

Gilbert better prepared

The first time LeBron James left Cleveland, many fans took it personally. From some of the quotes Dan Gilbert dropped on the media back then he obviously took it personally as well.

Gilbert felt betrayed, and so did the city of Cleveland. If history should repeat itself and LeBron bolts for a new team, fans may see a much calmer and more determined Gilbert the second time around.

According to Bleacher Report, if LeBron James declines his player option and decides to leave in free agency, Gilbert believes the organization can remain competitive. Brian Windhorst of ESPN indicates that Gilbert believes he can build a championship team without LeBron. Windhorst went on to say that after speaking to the Cavaliers owner, he believes that Gilbert is looking forward to the challenge of building a team without James.

Now, that isn’t saying that Gilbert wants to lose James, obviously, he doesn’t, but this time around, Gilbert and his staff will be better prepared should James decide to leave again.

One thing many fans may have forgotten in all of this is that James has a player option worth $35.6 million to remain with the Cavaliers for one more season. In other words, James could stay in Cleveland for another year and be paid a hefty salary to do so.

Life without James

While Gilbert believes the Cavaliers organization could be a championship contender following a fresh start without James, let us not forget the last time this happened -- the Cavs went from contender to pretender overnight.

In the four years LeBron played for the Miami Heat, the Cavaliers weren’t even a threat to make the playoffs, let alone reach the NBA Finals. Cleveland didn't win more than 33 games in a single season without James. If you are looking for a positive to hang your hat on, the Cavs' win total increased every season during James' absence.

In 2010 the Cavs won 19 games. The following season they won 21, followed by 24 in 2012 before reaching 33 in 2013. So, while those aren’t title-winning numbers, Cleveland was on the rise before LeBron returned for the 2014 season.