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5 Greatest Players in Cleveland Cavaliers' franchise history

  • Cleveland Cavaliers is a team no one would want to face right now. They have produced some of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen.
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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 16:10 IST

Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and LeBron James - Do the former 2 make this list?

Cleveland Cavaliers have been a dominant team in the league for quite some time, especially since LeBron James joined its ranks. With Cleveland Browns having disappointing seasons year after year in the NFL, it is the Cavaliers that have represented Cleveland in the best way, played for the pride and brought laurels to the city.

It is very unlikely at this point in time that you talk about Eastern Conference finals and not think about Cleveland Cavaliers. It is very much given even before the regular season starts that they are going to come out of east dominating whoever they meet in the playoffs. They have reached the finals of the last four seasons including 2017-18.

While LeBron James has been a huge part of their dominance and the centerpiece of their success after his arrival into the league, some of the greatest basketball players the league has ever seen have played for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here are the top five players in the history of the franchise:

#5 Zydrunas Ilgauskas

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers
Zydrunas Ilgauskas at his jersey retirement ceremony

Born in Lithuania, Zydrunas Ilgauskas has played in the league for 13 years. Standing at 7 feet 3 inches, he is one of the tallest players to have ever played in the league. He has spent a large part of his playing career with the Cleveland Cavaliers playing in 12 of his 13 seasons for them. He averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game over his long career.

During his 13-year playing career, he has been very efficient and shot 47.6% from the field. Ilgauskas ended his career prematurely because of the continuous foot injuries. In 2012, Zydrunas who is a two-time All-Star has been hired as an assistant to Cleveland Cavaliers GM Chris Grant. In 2015, Ilgauskas was hired as assistant coach for Saint Ignatius High School’s boys' basketball team. 

He has appeared in 771 games for the Cavaliers and is currently second only behind LeBron James. He is the franchise leader in blocked shots (1269) and offensive rebounds (2336). The Cavaliers have retired Ilgauskas' jersey in 2014.

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Published 01 Jun 2018, 21:37 IST
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