The loss of LeBron James will certainly be felt by the Cleveland Cavaliers but they're in a better position than they were when he first departed in 2010.
The franchise put contingency plans in place to prepare for his departure as they accumulated several young players via trades or the draft.
Kyrie Irving's trade to the Boston Celtics didn't work out well for them but it did yield this year's number eight pick in the draft, which they used to select Collin Sexton.
Mid-season trades with the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz saw them acquire Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood.
They have also signed Kevin Love to a four-year extension and all of a sudden, the future doesn't look so bleak for Cleveland.
The Cavs are realistic enough to know that they'll struggle to compete for a championship next year without LeBron, so their focus has shifted to developing a young roster.
Nine players on the Cavaliers are 26 or under going into the 2018-19 campaign.
Their expectations will be lowered as a result, with a playoff berth now being the target.
Head coach Tyronn Lue says he's looking forward to the challenge of leading his youthful group.
"Of course I would love to have LeBron James, but now that he's gone, it's going to be a new challenge," said head coach Tyronn Lue, according to the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn.
"I think me and my coaching staff, we're up for it. It's going to be different, a lot of young guys that we can try to teach and mould them how you want them to be.
"I think when LeBron came back [from Miami] and we traded for Kevin Love, we didn't have any draft picks - all veteran guys who could play now and understand how to play and how to win and what it took.
"Now, having made the trades we made during the season and acquiring some young talent through the draft, it will be a different challenge for us. I'm already excited about it."
Their offseason acquisitions include Sam Dekker, David Nwaba and Isaiah Taylor. Channing Frye is the only veteran they've added this summer.
The franchise does still possess several experienced players such as J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver and George Hill.
Lue understands that he may have trouble finding a balance between his seasoned vets and young pieces.
"I don't know because we've never had that challenge before," added Lue.
"I think it will be good because we have some good vets and we've always been surrounded by good vets. I know what we will continue to do is continue to build the culture."
The Ohio-based outfit never made the playoffs in the four years that James was away from 2010-2014 so they'll hope to prove that they are capable of winning without him on this occasion.
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