Cleveland Cavaliers are the champions, but they waited 46 seasons to become the best team in the NBA.
The road wasn’t easy and they made many mistakes like every other team in the league.
The Cavs played 20 times in the playoffs so far, but the most important – they played in the last two NBA Finals and they won last one.
In the last 10 years they selected four 1st picks of the NBA Draft and we are now going to catch their mistakes in the last 20 years.
5. NBA Draft 2001
Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1st round of the 2001 NBA Draft selected DeSagana Diop (8th pick). He played four seasons with the Cavs and started in only 5 games.
He averaged only 2.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in the NBA.
Honorable Mention: Zach Randolph (19th pick)
Draft Steal: Tony Parker (28th pick), Gilbert Arenas (30th pick), Brian Scalabrine (G.O.A.T. 34th pick)
Cleveland should have taken Joe Johnson. He is one of the best shooting guard/ small forward in the last 15 years. His nickname is Iso Joe, and everyone knows him as a player who knows how to score clutch points.
4. NBA Draft 2013
Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1st round of the 2013 NBA Draft selected Anthony Bennet (1st pick). That was one of the worst draft selection in the history of NBA, and Anthony Bennet hoping to capitalize on chance with Brooklyn Nets this season.
What can I write about Anthony Bennet? He played only 52 games for the Cavs and he never was in the starting lineup. He averaged only 4.2 points with 3.1 rebounds so far.
Maybe is too early to select him as one of the biggest mistakes in the Cavs history, but I have to be honest… they had a better player to select.
Honorable Mention: Victor Oladipo (2nd pick) and Rudy Gobert (27th pick)
Draft Steal: Giannis Antetokounmpo (15th pick)
Cleveland should select C.J. McCollum. Today, with Damian Lillard, they are one of the best backcourts in the league and maybe C.J. is the most underrated shooting guard in this league.
With Kyrie Irving, they could have a very talented backcourt, but I think that he is very happy with Portland Trail Blazers right now.
3. NBA Draft 2011
Cleveland Cavaliers selected Tristan Thompson (4th pick) after they selected Kyrie Irving (1st pick).
I want to be clear, Tristan Thompson is a great fit for LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers. He has a big heart and he knows how to play for the team and how to use his skills for the rebounds and blocks, but they had a better player at that moment.
Honorable Mention: Kawhi Leonard (15th pick)
Draft Steal: Jimmy Butler (30th pick)
Cleveland Cavaliers should have taken Klay Thompson. They had a chance to create maybe the best backcourt today if they selected him because they already selected Kyrie Irving.
Imagine this starting lineup… it’s irony, but it was possible – Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and LeBron James. This is maybe the better combination than Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant today.
2. NBA Draft 2012
Cleveland Cavaliers selected Dion Waiters (4th pick) in the 1st round of the 2012 NBA Draft.
The idea was to find a player who can play with Kyrie Irving and what they missed, just look at the NBA Draft 2013 above and you will see what I’m talking about.
Waiters is not a consistent player and maybe Miami Heat will be a good destination for him.
He has a talent, but I think that he likes to play alone and that was a problem in Oklahoma and Cleveland. Of course, he can score 20 points per game, but it’s not just about the offense because defense is the most important.
Honorable Mention: Damian Lillard (6th pick), Harrison Barnes (7th pick)
Draft Steal: Draymond Green (35th pick)
Cleveland Cavaliers should have taken Andre Drummond. They had a great chance to create one-two punch, and they missed again.
Andre Drummond and Kyrie Irving could have been a great duo, maybe top in the league. Drummond is a great rebounder and Kyrie is a great shooter, and they will create a perfect connection on the court.
Of course, LeBron James is there, so they could have a “Big Three”, probably without Kevin Love or Andre Wiggins.
1. NBA Draft 1996
This was one of the best drafts in the NBA history, but Cleveland Cavaliers selected Vitaly Potapenko the 1st round (12th pick) of the 1996 NBA Draft.
Someone could say – Potapenko played 610 games and averaged 6.5 points and 4.5 assists, what do you want? This is enough for the 12th pick. Is that enough? Just read and dream.
Honorable Mention: Peja Stojakovic (14th pick), Jermaine O’Neal (17th pick)
Draft Steal: Steve Nash (15th pick)
Cleveland Cavaliers should have taken Kobe Bryant. Yes, lady and gentlemen, Kobe Bryant.
Potapenko was 12th pick and Kobe Bryant was 13th pick of the 1996 NBA Draft.
If they selected Kobe Bryant, LeBron James could never play with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but maybe Lakers could select LeBron, why not?