Top 50 Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland has long been a suffering sports city and the Cavaliers seemed destined to never win a championship.

Beginning in 1970, the Cavs struggled like most expansion teams do, and it wasn’t until 1976 that they had their first winning season and made the playoffs for the first time.  They would surprisingly advance to the Eastern Conference Finals due to the “Miracle at Richfield” win over the Washington Bullets.  They would make the playoffs the next two years but went into a six-year drought before there rebuild took place in the late 80’s.  With a team led by Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Ron Harper and Larry Nance they were a top team in the East and again made the Eastern Conference Finals in 1989 but they never could make the Finals and went back to the bottom of the pack for years.

Then everything changed with two words: LeBron James.

The native of Akron, Ohio was projected to be the next big thing and the Cavaliers landed the number one pick of the 2003 Draft, who chose him.  The franchise’s fortune changed.  Cleveland was a playoff team again and they would make the Finals for the first time in history in 2007.  They did not win and James would famously take his talents to South Beach, and with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would win two titles for the Heat.  All was not lost, as Cleveland again won the draft lottery and selected another game changer in Kyrie Irving.

James would return and with the signing of Kevin Love, the Cavs would make four straight Finals (2015-2018), winning the 2016 Championship earning Cleveland their first championship and redeeming LeBron James in the eyes of Ohio.


Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics and post-season accolades.

Playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first five seasons of his career where he was used mostly in a bench role.  The Guard would average 8.1 Points per Game as a Cavalier with his best season being his fifth and last year with the team where he would post a 13.8 PPG.
Kenny Carr played his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before he was traded to Cleveland where he would play 201 Games.  Carr would see more playing time than he would anywhere else, and in 1980/81 he had career highs in Minutes Played (32.3), Points (15.2) and Rebounds (10.3) per Game and overall, he had a PPG of 14.1 and a PER of 16.4.
Daniel Gibson played his entire seven-year career in the National Basketball Association with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he mostly came off the bench.  Still, Gibson would have two seasons where he managed to average over 10 Points per Game (2007/08 & 2010/11) and was a part of four playoff teams, including the 2007/08 season where Cleveland went to the Finals.  That year had a post-season PER of 16.8.
Playing his first five seasons as a Cleveland Cavalier, John Bagley got off to a bit of a slow start as the 12th overall pick of 1982 did not earn the starting job at Point Guard until his third season.  In his third and fourth season, he would finish 5th and 4th respectively in Assists per Game and would have a three-year streak averaging over 10 Points per Game.  Bagley would however only make one…
Nicknamed the “Windexman" for his ability to clean the boards, Cage played two seasons for Cleveland.  He was a rebounding champion as a Los Angeles Clipper in 1987/88, but he was older and slower when he joined Cleveland (1994/95) but could still grab the boards.  Cage averaged 7.9 Rebounds per Game with Cleveland.
LeBron James' mother's favorite player (allegedly) played in Cleveland for two and a half seasons, where he would average 10.3 Points per Game.  West primarily played at Shooting Guard and had many clutch shots early in his Cavs tenure, most notably a game-winning shot against the Washington Wizards in the 2008 playoffs.  West's shooting slipped in 2009/10, and he would be shipped off to Minnesota who would subsequently waive him.
Lamond Murray played three seasons (1990-00 to 2001-02) with Cleveland where he was one of the team's better players in what was a bleak period for the team.  As such, Murray was able to put forth his best career numbers, averaging 15.0 Points per Game and a PER of 15.2, though it did not translate into any playoff appearances.
Gerald Wilkins signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers after being waived from the New York Knicks, a team he had lost his starting Shooting Guard role on.  Wilkins was brought in with a lot of fanfare as some felt he was the missing piece against Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.  This was especially true,  considering that Wilkins was one of Jordan's fiercest defenders.  It didn't work, but in the two seasons, he was a Cavalier he averaged…
Antawn Jamison arrived in Cleveland as a former two-time All-Star and Sixth Man of the Year where the Power Forward was brought in to help in a supporting role on a strong LeBron James led squad.  Cleveland  failed to make it to the Finals and James bolted to Miami, leaving Jamison and company as part of a very bad Cleveland team.  Someone still had to score and board, and Jamison would post an average of…
Ramon Sessions may have the misfortune in his long basketball journey to play in Cleveland after LeBron left, but this player was better than you remember and the Point Guard was very efficient in his role off the bench.  Sessions had a PER of 19.0 in his first year in Cleveland and was 16th in Assists per Game in his second season, though he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers midway through that year. …