Cleveland Cavaliers: All-Time Starting Five
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team in NBA purgatory right now. However, they used to be one of the most successful teams in the league. Despite boasting only one title, the team has been competitive during more than the eras that had LeBron James. In fact, during the 1980s and 1990s, they were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
So, which players make up their all-time starting lineup? Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the best players in Cavaliers’ history.
Cleveland Cavaliers All-Time Starting Point Guard: Mark Price
This one should seem pretty obvious as Mark Price is the second-best Cavalier of all-time. A four-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA Team selection, Price certainly has the all-time point guard locked up for himself. He’s one of the best point guards of all-time in general, finishing his tenure with Cleveland with averages of 16.4 points, 7.2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Not to mention, Price averaged an offensive rating of 118 while with the Cavaliers, along with an assist percentage of 36.7%. Price did play for three other teams throughout his career but he made his mark with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cleveland Cavaliers All-Time Starting Shooting Guard: Kyrie Irving
Yes, Irving’s true position is point guard. However, based on the number of times we’ve seen him play off-ball throughout his career, it can be assumed that he can play the shooting guard position at a high level with this talented lineup. Irving may have left the Cavaliers on a sour note but one cannot deny the impact he had for them for the first six seasons of his career. Especially when he was instrumental in the Cavaliers’ one and only championship, showing himself to be a masterful scorer and hitting one of the most clutch shots in NBA history.
During his time with the Cavs, Irving put up 21.6 points, 5.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. His advanced numbers with the Cavaliers were also impressive. Uncle Drew had an offensive rating of 112, an offensive win share number of 31.2, and a true shooting percentage of 56.1%. Not to mention, Irving made his first four All-Star Games (of six total) while in Cleveland and was also the 2013-14 All-Star Game MVP. Say what you will say about Kyrie, he’s undeniably one of the best players in the Cavaliers’ franchise history.
Cleveland Cavaliers All-Time Small Forward: LeBron James
This one should be expected. What else is there to say about James that isn’t already known? He’s in the conversation for the greatest of all-time, which in turn makes him the greatest Cavaliers player of all-time. His resume is absolutely insane as 16-time All-Star, one-time scoring champion, three-time Finals MVP, four-time NBA MVP and former Rookie of the Year. A guy that seems to break multiple records every season now, these are just a few of the accomplishments on LeBron’s resume. Of course, James’ most significant accomplishment is delivering the Cavaliers their first title in franchise history.
LeBron has had two different stints with the Cavaliers, the first from 2003-04 to 2009-10 and the second from 2014-15 to 2017-18. In the 11 years he played with Cleveland, James tallied insane totals of 27.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game. On top of that, he also averaged an offensive rating of 115 and a defensive rating of 104. Not to mention, James also possessed an assist percentage of 36.1%, and a win share amount of 154.1.
Cavs All-Time Power Forward: Larry Nance
Nance had an underrated career as he would make three All-Star Teams and three All-Defensive Teams. He split his career between the Phoenix Suns and the Cleveland Cavaliers but is most known for the seven years he spent in Cleveland. Nowadays, he’s likely more known now as the father of a current Cavaliers player in Larry Nance Jr., but avid NBA fans know that he is a dunking legend and underrated retired NBA player.
During his stint in Cleveland, Nance tallied 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. On top of this, he also possessed an offensive rating of 118 to couple with a defensive rating of 104. He also possessed a true shooting percentage of 57.5% during his Cleveland stint. Nance would truly compliment this All-Time starting five at the power forward spot.
Cavs All-Time Center: Brad Daugherty
Out of all these players on this roster, Daugherty is the only one to spend his entire career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He only played for eight seasons but he was extremely effective during his time in the league. Daugherty is often overlooked in terms of former All-Stars. Yet, he made the All-Star Team five different times to go along with making the All-Rookie Team and the All-NBA Team in the 1991-92 season.
Throughout his career, Daugherty would put up 19 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. He also possessed an offensive rating of 114 to go along with a defensive rating of 105. Furthermore, Daugherty tallied a win share amount of 65.2 to go along with a true shooting percentage of 59%. Looking back through the franchise’s history, Daugherty is certainly the best-qualified center for the All-Time Center position in this lineup.
The Cavaliers may not have as many titles as the Celtics or the Lakers, but their All-Time lineup is still certainly a talented group.