This question is only relevant if Lebron does bolt this free agency period. Financially, Cleveland as an organization obviously benefited from having Lebron for the past few years but what about the fans?
As a fan the breakup will be so painful that I liken it to a girlfriend that broke up with you but you still were interested in her. Really interested in her, like ready to propose level of interest. In the case of a fan Lebron has been the entire organization, what will it be like for the fans to see Lebron on another team?
The previous point leads me to here. With the heartache Lebron will cause to the Cleveland fan-base, many have said it will kill the franchise and maybe the entire sports following Cleveland fan-base, with no titles to show for it, is the pain worth it?
The Cavs were the best regular season team a couple of times but outside of one NBA Finals appearance, where the series never felt close, the Cavs never really contended. I mean truly contended, where during the playoffs at the Conference finals level the Cavs felt like the favorite. They snuck into the finals one year, got dominated by the Magic in the conference finals another, then this year could not get out of the conference semifinals.
All this pain and the Cavs were never even close to actually winning the whole thing.
I am not seriously suggesting the Cavs will be better without Lebron, especially in the short term. But if everything I read that suggests Lebron is running the show from coach selection to personnel is true, the Cavs may be better off at some point down the road. If Lebron is calling all shots, that will not and cannot work. If the choice was lose Lebron in a somewhat decent sign and trade(Deng and Henrich) versus Lebron staying but he and his “associates” running the show, than Cleveland may be better off.
They would have the same number of championships either way, ZERO!