The Cavaliers have featured many NBA stars during its history, including draft picks turned All-Stars Austin Carr, Brad Daugherty, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Mark Price, LeBron James, and Kyrie Irving. Past NBA greats such as Nate Thurmond, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, and Shaquille O'Neal also played in Cleveland (albeit near the end of their careers).
The team has had moderate success in its history, winning three Central Division Championships (1976, 2009, 2010), an Eastern Conference Championship in 2007, and 18 total playoff seasons. However, the team has also had a number of dubious distinctions, such as former owner Ted Stepien's tenure, which led the NBA to create a rule regulating the trading of draft picks ("The Stepien Rule"), and a 26-game losing streak in 2010–11, which tied the record for the longest losing streak in major American professional sports
2011–present: Rise with Kyrie Irving
Having the second-worst team record in the 2010–11 season as well as the Clippers' first round pick that they received in the Mo Williams/Baron Davis trade, the Cavaliers had high odds of winning an early draft pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, with a 22.7% chance of their pick becoming #1 overall. The selection acquired from the Clippers became the first pick in the lottery, while the Cavaliers original first round selection ended up as the #4 selection in the draft. The Cavs became the first team since the 1983 Houston Rockets to have two picks in the top five in the draft. The Cavaliers took Duke guard Kyrie Irving with the first pick, even though he only played 11 games in college. With the 4th pick, the Cavaliers selected Texas power forward Tristan Thompson.
The Cavaliers used the next year to build around the two top-5 picks. On June 30, 2011, the team acquired small forward Omri Casspi and a lottery-protected first-round draft pick from the Sacramento Kings for forward J.J. Hickson. At the next year's trade deadline, the Cavaliers acquired forward Luke Walton and a first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers. The 2011–12 lockout shortened season was an improvement for the Cavs, as they finished 21–45. Irving was named NBA Rookie of the Year and was unanimously voted to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Thompson was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.
For the second straight year in 2012, the Cavaliers had two first round picks in the NBA Draft. With their own #4 pick, they chose guard Dion Waiters from Syracuse, and with pick #17 (which was acquired from Dallas on draft night), they chose center Tyler Zeller from North Carolina. In August 2012, the Cavaliers signed veteran free agent swingman C.J. Miles.
On April 18, 2013, the Cavaliers fired head coach Byron Scott after leading the team to a 64-166 record in three seasons. The following week, the Cavaliers rehired Mike Brown as head coach, making him the second two-time head coach in team history, after Bill Musselman in the early '80s
On May 21, 2013, the Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery to receive the #1 pick in the draft. They will also have the 19th pick in the first round (acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade), as well as two out of the top three picks in the second round.
For the third straight year the Cavs had two picks in the first round of the NBA Draft. The Cavaliers made somewhat of a surprise pick with the first pick in the 2013 Draft, selecting forward Anthony Bennett of UNLV. With the 19th pick, the Cavaliers took swingman Sergey Karasev out of Russia.
Cleveland Cavaliers Roster
|Kyre Iriving||2||Point guard|
|Dion Waiters||3||Point guard|
|Tristan Thompson||13||Power forward|
|Daniel Gibson||1||Shooting guard|
|Luke Walton||4||Power forward|
|Shaun Livingston||14||Point guard|
|C J. Miles||0||Shooting guard|
|Alonzo Gee||33||Small forward|
|Kevin Jones||5||Power forward|
|Omri Casspi||36||Small forward|