Although the list of great Cavaliers small forwards isn’t long, there are some greats. Here are the best Cleveland Cavalier small forwards of all-time.
Traded to Cleveland in 2010 in a deal that saw long-time Cavalier Zydrunas Ilgauskas sent away, Antawn Jamison kicks off our list. In his three seasons in Cleveland, Jamison averaged 17.3 Points, 6.7 Rebounds, 1.8 assists on 42.5 percent field goal percentage. Although most of his success came before his Cavalier years (Sixthman of the Year award, two time all-star and receiving All-NBA votes) he was still fairly productive for Cleveland.
Mike Mitchell was drafted to the Cavaliers in 1978. Mitchell averaged 19.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in his four seasons as a Cavalier. His play was good enough to garner a single all-star appearance in the 1980-81 season.
Across his three seasons in Cleveland, Larry Hughes produced a stat line of 14.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He was a defensive standout as well, averaging 1.4 steals a game for the Cavs. He was on first team all-defense, but that was the year before he came to the 216. And although he never represented Cleveland in the star-game, he did make a Finals appearance with them in 2007.
Drafted by the Cavaliers in 1974, Campy Russell averaged 16.1 points, 5.1 boards, and almost three assists in his 7 seasons in Cleveland. Russell was an accomplished scorer, dropping 30 plus points for the Cavs more than 20 times. He also averaged an even one steal per game, and made an all-star appearance.
One of the most accomplished players to ever play in the NBA, Lebron James is without question the best small forward to have ever played for the Cavaliers. Although his time in Cleveland can be split into two separate runs, he spent a total of 11 seasons with the Cavs. In the totality of his time he averaged 27.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He was able to produce this stat line hitting 49.2 percent of his shots from the field. There were nine times he scored 50 points or more and 64 times he logged a triple-double while wearing a Cavaliers uniform. He also led the Cavs to five Finals appearances (winning once) and represented them twice as many times in the All-Star Game.
Being born and raised in Akron, James holds deep ties to the area that stretch further than basketball. In 2004 he started the Lebron James Family Foundation to help underprivileged children in the Akron area. Whether it’s winning the 2003 Rookie of the Year Award or ending the city’s 52 year championship drought (or taking his talents to South Beach), Lebron will forever be associated with Cleveland lore. He easily sits atop the list of best Cleveland Cavalier small forwards of all-time, considering he currently sits at fourth on the all-time assists leaders and first the list of all-time scoring leaders, he may just be the greatest small forward who will ever play for Cleveland.
But we can dream.
Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com
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