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Cleveland Cavaliers chairman Dan Gilbert answers a question about Cavalier player Kyrie Irving's demand to be traded, during a news conference at the Cavaliers training facility in Independence, Ohio, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Phil Long/Associated Press

Even if LeBron James declines his player option and leaves in free agency, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert believes the organization can remain competitive.

“Dan Gilbert believes that he can build a championship team without LeBron, and I think he is looking forward to trying,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Hoop Collective (h/t Ryne Nelson of Slam). “I don’t think he necessarily wants it to be next year, but I think Dan Gilbert would like to make a run of it.”

James has a player option worth $ 35.6 million to remain with the Cavaliers.

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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