Ranking Worst NBA Free-Agency Signings in Cleveland Cavaliers History

Greg SwartzCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJuly 18, 2013

Ranking Worst NBA Free-Agency Signings in Cleveland Cavaliers History

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    On paper, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had a fantastic offseason. 

    Making a splash in the free-agent pool by landing Andrew Bynum, Jarrett Jack and Earl Clark, the Cavs have seemingly taken an alternative route to improving their team.

    The Cavs have long been a team built through the draft and trades, with many of their greatest players being acquired through such means.

    When it comes to free agents, though, Cleveland hasn't had much success.

    General manager Chris Grant looks to have finally turned things around, and thank goodness, because fans just can't take much more of the following players. 

No. 5: Damon Jones, G

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    Years with Cavs: 2005-2008

    Contract Signed: Four years, $16.1 million

    The third and final member of a disastrous 2005 spending spree, Jones was another desperate attempt at acquiring an outside shooter.

    Jones was indeed a great shooter, in his own mind at least.

    When he wasn't busy signing shoe deals for sneakers sold exclusively in China, you could find Jones chucking shot after shot, trying his best to take the Cavaliers out of games. In his three seasons with the Cavs, Jones shot just 38.7, 38.6 and 41.6 percent from the field. 

    This, coupled with highs of 6.7 points and 2.1 assists, just didn't seem to add up to $16.1 million.

    Perhaps his greatest contribution, other than this shot against the Washington Wizards, was being traded during the 2008 offseason in a package for Mo Williams.

     

No. 4: Donyell Marshall, PF

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    Years with Cavs: 2005-2008

    Contract Signed: Four years, $22 million

    Marshall was 32 years old when the Cavs signed him, a questionable move for a young team that was on the rise.

    To be fair to then-general manager Danny Ferry, Marshall was coming off a career year shooting the three-ball, and the Cavs needed an outside threat to spread the floor for LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to work in the paint.

    Unfortunately for the Cavs, that's about all Marshall did.

    During his two-and-a-half seasons in Cleveland, over half of all of his total field-goal attempts were three-pointers (689 of 1,208 for 57 percent).

    This would have been okay had he been knocking them down, but that wasn't the case.

    After shooting 41.6 percent from deep the season before, Marshall's average dropped to 32.4 during his first season in Cleveland.

    His 6'9" and 245-pound frame was of little use standing in the corner waiting for the ball to come, so Marshall was shipped to the then-Seattle SuperSonics at the 2008 trade deadline.

No. 3: Mike Woodson, G/F

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    Years with Cavs: 1990-91

    Contract Signed: 10 days, electric razor (unconfirmed)

    Woodson, yes that Mike Woodson, latched on to the Cavaliers for a glorious run in December 1990. Nearing the end of his career, the Cavs thought it wise to add the veteran swingman, signing him off waivers on December 13th.

    Needless to say, his stint with the Cavs wouldn't even last until Christmas.

    Four games and a negative PER later, Woodson was released on Christmas Eve after logging a total of 11 points in 46 minutes.

    Basketball-Reference.com reminds us just how bad Woodson was in his short stint. A 21.7 field goal percentage.  A PER of -6.8.  A win share of -0.3. Yes, having Woodson on the floor was statistically worse than having no player at all.

    Woodson has since become a fine head coach with the New York Knicks, but his play with the Cavaliers was anything but grand.

No. 2: Ira Newble, G/F

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    Years with Cavs: 2003-2008

    Contract Signed: Four years, $15 million

    Newble was not a very good player, and that's about the nicest thing you can say about him.

    Thought of as a tough, defensive player, Newble proved to everyone that's a nice way of saying "should never be allowed to touch a basketball on offense." His best season with the Cavaliers came in 2004-05, when he averaged 5.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 24.8 minutes a game.

    Yes, that was his BEST season.

    Newble followed up that career year with a 1.3-point-on-29.8-percent-shooting season in 36 games during 2005-06.

    Eventually dumped on the Seattle SuperSonics at the 2008 trade deadline, Newble just never did rediscover the magic from 2004-05. He would retire after the season ended.

No. 1: Larry Hughes, G

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    Years with Cavs: 2005-2008

    Contract Signed: Five years, $65 million

    Hughes highlighted the offseason misery of 2005, becoming the highest-paid Cavalier at the time.

    Plan C in the Cavaliers' big free-agent targets behind Ray Allen and Michael Redd, Hughes was a desperate attempt to place a star next to LeBron James.

    Hughes, who already had a history of injuries coming in, missed over half the team's games his first season.  His scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and field-goal percentage all went down from the year before with the Washington Wizards.  Hughes' turnovers and personal fouls saw a nice increase, however.

    By Year 3 in Cleveland, Hughes' field-goal percentage had bottomed out to 37.7 percent, inspiring the greatest website title of all time.

    General manager Danny Ferry realized his blunder and traded Hughes to the Chicago Bulls in 2008.

    The website, thankfully, still lives on.