Cavaliers All Time Dream Team
Having been formed in 1970 as an expansion team, the Cleveland Cavaliers brought NBA basketball to Cleveland for the past 33 seasons. The team was owned by Nick Milleti and played their games at the old Cleveland Arena under the coaching of Bill Fitch. The first year was a tough one going 15-67, but earned them the right to draft Austin Carr in first overall selection of the 1971 draft. Carr had led the nation in scoring at Notre Dame the previous two seasons.
Since then, the Cavs have had many fine players on their roster, but have had mixed results over the coarse of their history when it came to their record. Generally, you will notice that the players making up this “dream team” played during eras when the Cavs enjoyed their greatest results.
Here are my picks for both the first and second teams:
Cleveland Cavaliers First Team
· Point Guard – Mark Price
· Shooting Guard – Austin Carr
· Small Forward – LeBron James
· Power Forward – Larry Nance
· Center – Brad Daugherty
· Sixth Man – Ron Harper
Cleveland Cavaliers Second Team
· Point Guard – Terrell Brandon
· Shooting Guard – World B. Free
· Small Foward – Campy Russell
· Power Forward – John “Hot Rod” Williams
· Center – Zydrunas Ilgauskas
· Sixth Man – Kyrie Irving
Mark Price was a point guard that played from 1986-1995 averaging 15.2 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.2 steals. He ended his NBA career as the best free throw percentage in NBA history. Price was an excellent shooter from the field, beyond the arc and behind the line, but above all, he was an excellent floor general leading the team to seven playoff appearances. Price was an all-star four times and made the All-NBA first team once.
Austin Carr, our shooting guard, played from 1971 thru 1980, averaging 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Austin Carr was a great NBA player who could have been even better if not for constant knee injuries throughout his career.
Carr ranks third in all time team scoring, averaging over 20 points per game in each of his first three seasons. Carr ranks fifth in games played for the team.
LeBron James is a small forward/shooting guard that played from 2003, when he was the first overall selection until 2010, averaging 27.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.9 assists. James holds team records for most notably total points, scoring average, field goals made and steals, among several others. Reguarded as the best player in the league during his career, James took the Cavs to their first ever trip to the NBA Finals in 2007 against the San Antonio Spurs, who swept the series in four straight games. LeBron James was a two-time NBA MVP, leading the team to two 60-plus win seasons.
Larry Nance – was a power forward who played for the Cavs from 1988 to 1994, averaging 17.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks. Nance was acquired from the Phoenix Suns. Nance anchored several very good Cavs teams defensively with his great leaping ability. He ranks third all time on the Cavs in blocked shots with 1087, however when he retired he had more blocks than any non-center in NBA history. Nance made three All-star teams and made the All-defenisve team three times.
Brad Daugherty – another first overall selection by the Cavs, playing with the team from 1986 to 1994, averaging 19.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Daugherty is the team’s all-time leader in defensive rebounds and is second in total points. Daugherty was an excellent assist man ranking amongst the top passing big men in the game. During his career, he never averaged less than 3.2 assists. Daugherty was an intimidating presence at 7 feet tall with very long arms. Back problems ended what was on track to be a Hall of Fame career.
Ron Harper, a shooting guard/small forward was just too good to leave off the first team, averaging 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 steals during his brief Cavs career from 1986 to 1989. After being selected 8th overall, Harper proved to be one of the most athletic players in team history and an explosive scorer, putting up 22.9 points in his rookie season. Harper played only three seasons for the Cavs before being traded to the Los Angles Clippers in an ill fated trade for Danny Ferry that never worked out for the Cavs. Harper, however went on to win five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.