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NBA Draft History: 5 First-Rounders the Cavs Moved to Usher in the LeBron Era

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NBA Draft History: 5 First-Rounders the Cavs Moved to Usher in the LeBron Era
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers were a historically troubled franchise and couldn't quite be a championship-caliber team until LeBron James came to town.

With that said, there were so many pivotal moves involving the Cavs and historic NBA players that changed the course of the franchise, and helped usher in the LeBron Era.

The circumstances surrounding the five players in the subsequent slides could have made the Cavs better or worse at various stages of its history to miss out on selecting LeBron in the 2003 draft.

When the NBA lottery concept was introduced for the 1985 draft, it was designed to guard against teams "tanking" for prime draft position in that year's draft. It changed the way the nature of the draft forever.

With 1985 as the cutoff year in that context, here are five notable first rounders that played a role and provide crazy "what-if's" in events leading up to the selection of King James.

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