Cleveland Cavaliers' Greatest Post Players of All Time

Ryan SponsellerContributor IIISeptember 7, 2011

Cleveland Cavaliers' Greatest Post Players of All Time

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    Zydrunas Ilgauskas' place in team history has come into question when considering his No. 11 for retirement, but what company does he have with post players who've dawned a Cavaliers jersey.

    Cavaliers in the paint have been characterized by shortened careers and frustration. To recognize the top post players, we'll consider top performances for a given year, as inconsistency or changing roles can be seen throughout the list of big men.

    It is yet to be seen if Tristan Thompson will join this club of elite post players, but for the time being, here are the 10 greatest post players in Cavaliers history.

10. Anderson Varejao

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    Best Season (out of seven)—9.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG

    Wild Thing’s defensive play and hustle make him a fan favorite, while his commitment to the Cavs has led to multiple occurrences in the Cavs’ record books.

9. Tyrone Hill

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    Best Season (out of five)—13.8 PPG, 10.9 RPG

    Hill averaged a double-double in 1994-95 and 1996-97, helping him land a position in the Cavs Top 10 for career offensive, defensive and total rebounds.

8. Drew Gooden

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    Best Season (out of four)14.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG

    Helping remove the sting of losing Carlos Boozer, Gooden gave LeBron a second post option after Ilgauskas.

7. Jim Chones

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    Best Season (out of five)—15.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG

    At 6’11”, Chones was an inside presence during his playing days, collecting the fifth most rebounds and blocked shots in Cavalier history, making it as far as the Eastern Conference finals in 1975-76.

6. Carlos Boozer

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    Best Season (out of five)—15.5 PPG, 11.4 RPG

    Possibly the second most hated Cavalier in team history, Boozer would have been one of the best post players if he stuck around Cleveland instead of making a run for the money in Utah.

5. Shawn Kemp

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    Best Season (out of three)—20.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG

    Kemp’s conditioning led to his fall from grace, and his inability to live up to expectations set the Cavs back leading into the millennium. 

4. John Hot Rod Williams

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    Best Season (out of nine)—16.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG

    Hot Rod could be the Cavs’ best sixth man of all time, coming off the bench to relieve Brad Daugherty or Larry Nance during the multiple playoff runs the Cavs made in the early '90s. Hot Rod left the Cavs in 1995 as the all-time leader in block shots (passed by Z) and second in rebounds (now third).

3. Zydrunas Ilgauskas

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    Best Season (out of 12)—16.9 PPG, 8.6 RPG

    Big Z’s career got off to a rough start with multiple foot and ankle surgeries that caused him to miss all but five games in a two-year span. Miraculously, Zydrunas went on to play the most games in Cavaliers franchise history, along with collecting the most rebounds and block shots.

2. Larry Nance

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    Best Season (out of seven)—19.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG

    Cavs fans will remember Nance as a key contributor through the late '80s and early '90s. Nance, the Cavs’ seventh all-time leading scorer, was a member of the 1989 and 1993 All-Star teams with the Cavs and helped lead the Cavs to six playoff appearances.

DeSagana Diop

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    Ok, it’s not DeSagana Diop.

    On to number one...

1. Brad Daugherty

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    Best Season (out of eight)—21.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG

    Although his career was cut short due to back problems, Daugherty was the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer at the time of his retirement. Currently, Daugherty holds second in rebounds (first for defensive), third in points and second in field goal percentage.