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Cleveland Cavaliers' All-Time Dream Team

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterMarch 14, 2013

Cleveland Cavaliers' All-Time Dream Team

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers have been in existence since 1970 and have seen many remarkable players suit up in the franchise's 43 years.

    These next 12 players, however, truly stand out from the rest. Together, they represent the best collection of talent from all the different eras in Cleveland basketball history.

    Here is what an all-time Cavaliers team would look like if time and age were no factor, and all the players were at their physical playing peak.

    Behold, the "Cleveland Cavaliers All-Time Dream Team."

Reserve: Terrell Brandon, G

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    Career Averages: 13.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.1 apg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1991-1997 

     

    The 11th overall pick by the Cavaliers in the 1991 draft, Terrell Brandon was one of the best point guards during the '90s.

    An excellent free-throw shooter whose career mark sits at 87.3 percent, Brandon was the heir apparent to Mark Price for the Cavaliers at point guard and was part of four Cleveland playoff teams.

    An All-Star during 1996-1997, Brandon played an integral part in the Cavs' success of the '90s but was later traded in a deal that brought Shawn Kemp to Cleveland.

Reserve: Campy Russell, SF

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    Career Averages: 15.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.0 apg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1974-1980, 1984-1985

     

    Most Cavs fans today know Campy Russell as an on-air talent and studio analyst, but he was also a very good Cleveland player in the mid-to-late 1970s.

    The eighth overall pick in the 1974 draft, Russell could do it all. A talented scorer, Russell was also an adept passer and rebounder. He had his best season in 1978-79, averaging 21.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

    A part of three playoff teams for the Cavs, Russell averaged 27.5 points per game for Cleveland in the 1978 playoffs.

Reserve: John "Hot Rod" Williams, PF

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    Career Averages: 11.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1986-1995

     

    Williams was born by the name of John, but to fans of the Cavs, he was simply known as "Hot Rod."

    A strong defensive presence for some very good Cavalier teams, Williams was an excellent shot-blocker who ranks third in team history for total shots swatted.

    The Louisiana native only spent about half his games in Cleveland as a starter, but played big minutes and produced big numbers for the Cavs. Williams' best season came in 1989-90 when he averaged 16.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game.

Reserve: Kyrie Irving, PG

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    Career Averages: 20.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.5 apg

    Years on Cavaliers: 2011-present

     

    Kyrie Irving has had a remarkable start to his Cavaliers career.

    In just two seasons, Irving has been named NBA Rookie of the Year, MVP of the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge and 3-Point Shootout contest winner. He's already widely regarded as a top-five NBA point guard with his incredible handle and shooting ability.

    Putting Irving on a historic list like this after just two seasons may be considered a bit premature, but there's no doubt, if healthy, he will become one of the best Cavaliers of all time.

    Currently leading a talented young squad of Cavs, expect Irving's trophy case to get a little bigger each season as he continues his NBA ascent.

Reserve: World B. Free, G

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    Career Averages:  20.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.7 apg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1982-1986

     

    World B. Free was one of the NBA's original flashy stars.

    His style, name, hair and game all helped make him such a fun player to watch on what were some less-than-stellar Cavalier teams in the early 1980s.

    Never scoring less than 22.5 points per game in any of his four seasons with Cleveland, Free helped draw crowds and began to build a buzz that would eventually lead to numerous playoff trips for the Cavs in the near future.

    Free never met a shot he didn't like and is viewed as one of the best pure scorers in Cavaliers history.

Reserve: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C

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    Career Averages: 13.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.6 bpg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1997-2010 

     

    Zydrunas "Big Z" Ilgauskas was a fan favorite on the Cavs for years as a player before becoming special assistant to general manager Chris Grant. 

    From a young, lanky kid with foot problems to one of the best Cavaliers of all time, Ilgauskas is a tribute to what hard work will get you out of life.

    Not only was he a fantastic low-post scorer and rebounder, but he also went along with whatever the team asked him to do. This included being benched in favor of Shaquille O'Neal and re-signing with the Cavs after being traded to and cut by the Washington Wizards back in 2010.

    "Z" was a true professional in his 13 seasons and deserves to have his No. 11 retired by the team one day.

Sixth Man: Ron Harper, G

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    Career Averages: 13.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.7 spg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1986-1989

     

    Ron Harper was one of the most athletic guards in Cavaliers history.

    A dynamic scorer, Harper averaged 22.9 points per game during his rookie season in Cleveland after being taken eighth overall by the Cavs in the 1986 draft.

    The Ohio native and Miami University graduate only played three seasons for the Cavs before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, but his impact was felt for years to come. A great defender and team leader, Harper would later go on to win five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls.

Starter: Brad Daugherty, C

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    Career Averages: 19.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.7 apg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1986-1994

     

    No offense to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, but Brad Daugherty is the best center in Cavalier history.

    The first overall pick in the 1986 draft, Daugherty was an intimidating presence with his seven-foot frame and long arms. Starting all but two of his 548 games with the Cavaliers, Daugherty is the team's all-time leader in defensive rebounds and is second in total points.

    A talented passer for a big man, Daugherty never averaged less than 3.2 assists in any of his eight pro seasons.

    Never playing for any other team besides the Cavaliers, a bad back derailed what could have been a potential Hall of Fame career.

Starter: Larry Nance, PF

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    Career Averages: 17.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.2 bpg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1988-1994

     

    Larry Nance began his career with the Phoenix Suns, but is, perhaps, better known for his play with the Cavaliers.

    A great leaper, Nance proved to be a defensive anchor on some very good Cavalier teams. His 1,087 total blocked shots ranks third in team history.

    A two-time All-Star while in Cleveland, Nance made the NBA All-Defensive team for three seasons and still holds the Cavaliers record for most blocked shots in a season with 243.

Starter: LeBron James, SF

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    Career Averages: 27.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 6.9 apg

    Years on Cavaliers: 2003-2010

     

    LeBron James holds many Cavalier records, including total points, scoring average, field goals made and steals.

    Reaching the playoffs five times, James led the Cavs to the NBA Finals in 2007, the closest the franchise has ever made it to an NBA title.

    Regarded as the best player in the NBA during much of his time in Cleveland, James was a two-time NBA MVP winner and helped lead the team to two 60-plus win seasons.

    Love him, hate him or feel somewhere in-between, James is the best player in Cavaliers history due to his tremendous all-around game.

Starter: Austin Carr, SG

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    Career Averages: 15.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.8 apg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1971-1980 

     

    Austin Carr was a great NBA player who could have been even better if not for constant knee injuries throughout his career.

    The franchise's first overall pick in 1971, Carr averaged over 20 points per game during each of his first three pro seasons. He stands as the No. 3 overall scorer in Cavaliers history and is fifth overall in games played.

    Carr is, of course, the TV color man for all Cavs broadcasts now, and together with Fred McLeod, form one of the best commentary duos in all of basketball.

Starter: Mark Price, PG

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    Career Averages: 15.2 ppg, 6.7 apg, 1.2 spg

    Years on Cavaliers: 1986-1995

     

    The best free-throw shooter in NBA history, Mark Price led powerhouse Cavaliers teams in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    Price was an excellent floor general and shooter who made the All-Star game four times. He also made the All-NBA first team in 1992-93 and led the Cavs to the playoffs seven times.

    If we're talking a Cleveland Cavaliers dream team, there's no doubt, Price would get the start at point guard due to his personal and team successes.

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