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Who would make the Cavs all time starting lineup?

From LeBron James to Luke Jackson, we go through and try and put together the all-time starting lineup for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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With the basketball drought in full effect and being months away from any sort of competitive NBA action, it's time to (try) and have some fun. People are constantly putting hypothetical teams together, so why not put together one involving all the players that have ever put on a Cavs' uniform?

Before we begin, we have to set down some rules in order to make this lineup somewhat fair.

- First, we're judging players based on what they did when playing for the Cavs. So if you want to consider Shaquille O'Neal, just remember you're getting broken down Shaq and not most-dominant-player-in-the-league Shaq.

- Second, we're only slightly considering positions. And when I say that, I mean point guards and and shooting guards are virtually interchangeable, but you can't put a guy like Carlos Boozer at point (or shooting) guard. That wouldn't be fun at all.

So with the rules in place, let's see who is trotting out to center court as the starters for your all-time Cleveland Cavaliers starting lineup.

Point Guard - Mark Price (1986-1995)

This one was a little tricky. It's obvious who the two best guards are in Cavs' history, but defining them by position was tough to put together. In the end, I went with Price as the point guard, a decision that will question whether I actually think Kyrie Irving is a point guard or not (SPOILER: he is).

With the way that Irving has played in his fist four years in the league, some have forgotten the accomplishments that Price racked up in his seven years in Cleveland. Price averaged 16.4 points and 7.2 assists in a Cavs' uniform, helping him earn four All-NBA selections and was a big reason the Cavs were one of the best teams in the early 90s.

But what made Price one of the best at his position was his ability to shoot. Three times he finished in the top-10 in three-point shooting percentage and three times he led the league in free throw percentage. His career 90.2 free throw percentage ranks second in NBA history and first in Cavs' history. Among non-LeBron Cavalier ranks, Price is first in assists, steals, three-pointers and win shares.

Other options - Mo Williams, Andre Miller, Brevin Knight

Shooting Guard - Kyrie Irving (2011-Present)

This is not a shot at Irving's ability as a point guard.


Today's era has shown that you can play two point guards together, so just think of this as Irving hypothetically playing alongside an extremely rich man's (like, a billionaire) Matthew Dellavedova.

In context, Irving is behind LeBron as everyone's second favorite Cavs' player of all-time [Editor's note: of the younger generation, this is probably true]. He was supposed to fix the hole that was left behind after The Decision and didn't disappoint. The countless game-winners, the spectacular finishes around the rim and the mesmerizing ball-handling ability that has taken its' fair share of opposing players ankles.

Although he couldn't help the Cavs make the playoffs in his first three seasons, he brought notoriety back to the Cavs and eventually helped bring LeBron back to Cleveland.

Before his age-23 season, Irving has averaged 21.0 points, 5.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds in his current four-year Cavalier career, and can still get better playing alongside LeBron and Kevin Love.

Other options - Austin Carr, World B. Free, Delonte West

Small Forward - LeBron James (2003-2010, 2014-Present)

Well, this was an easy pick.

There isn't a single player in professional sports that is specifically linked to one team more than LeBron is to the Cavs. If the NBA were to do their own version of the "Franchise Four," it would just be four options to pick LeBron. That's how big he is to the Cavs' franchise.

Even when he left the team in 2010 and turned heel on northeast Ohio, he was welcomed back with open arms when he came back four years later. Not many players can have that same effect on a team and its' fan base, and if it weren't for Austin Carr, LeBron would be the true "Mr. Cavalier."

As far as his accolades go in a Cavs uniform, James has been selected to seven All-Star games, seven All-NBA teams and two All-NBA defensive teams. He also won Rookie of the Year in 2003 and two of his four MVP's in 2009 and 2010.

Statistically, no one compares to LeBron, where he is the Cavs' franchise leader in: minutes played, field goal makes and attempts, three-pointers made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, assists, steals and points. And if he plans to finish his career in Cleveland as he's hinted at over the past year, he will most likely be at the top of every counting category.

Other options - Campy Russell, Craig Ehlo, Jamario Moon

Power Forward - Larry Nance (1988-1994)

Alongside Price, Nance is another guy that seemingly gets lost in the shuffle among the newer generations of Cavs' fans. At 6'11", he could do it all as a big man: score, rebound and defend. And when the Cavs traded for him in February of 1988, he helped turn them into one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in the mid-90s.

In his time, Nance was one of the most athletic big men in the league, throwing down some of the most vicious dunks and creating plenty of posters for the kids in northeastern Ohio. Nance's athleticism was also a big part of his defensive abilities, where his elite rim protection helped him to earn three All-Defensive teams as a Cavalier.

For his career in Cleveland, Nance averaged 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, ranking third all-time in Cavs history in blocks and field goal percentage, and eighth in points scored.

Other options - Drew Gooden, Hot Rod Williams, Kevin Love

Center - Brad Daugherty (1986-1994)

Hands down, this was by far the toughest selection of the five. At least three guys had compelling arguments, with none of them being the wrong answer. But for the man in the middle, Daugherty was the right guy for me.

Although Zydrunas Ilgauskas would be the popular pick in this spot, Daugherty's was a better player in his prime. From 1991-1993, Daugherty averaged 21.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists, one of only five guys to put up those numbers in that time span. The other four guys, you ask? Karl Malone, David Robinson, Charles Barkley and Larry Johnson -- three Hall of Famers and one possible Hall of Famer had it not been for back injuries.

In that span, he also was elected to three straight All-Star games and finished his career with five total selections. Had injuries not cut short Daugherty's career, he may have rivaled LeBron as the greatest Cavalier ever and without a doubt been the best center to suit up in a Cavs' uniform.

Other options: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jim Chones, Anderson Varejao