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31 voters

The Best Cleveland Cavaliers First-Round Picks In The NBA Draft

Updated July 26, 2019 562 votes 31 voters39 items

List RulesVote based only on career success with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Only picks made since the NBA/ABA merger (since 1977).

Cleveland Cavaliers first-round draft picks have shaped the franchise and been primarily responsible for the only championship in team history. It helps to have drafted one of the best basketball players of all time, LeBron James, but players like Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson also helped make the franchise what it is.

Not every Cavaliers draft pick has been a hit, though, with players like Anthony Bennett, DeSagana Diop, and Dajuan Wagner ranking among the biggest NBA draft busts in history.

So which of these players had the greatest impact on the Cavaliers? The stats below reflect only the players' time spent with Cleveland, and that's what you should base your vote on. Did this Cavaliers first-round draft pick help the franchise improve?

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  • LeBron James1

    Draft selection: 1 (2003)

    Stats
    849 games played, 27.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 7.3 apg, 1.6 spg

    Achievements
    NBA champion (2016)
    NBA Finals MVP (2016)
    2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2009, 2010)
    10× NBA All-Star (2005–2010, 2015-2018)
    3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2006, 2008, 2018)
    8× All-NBA First Team (2006, 2008–2010, 2015-2018)
    2× All-NBA Second Team (2005, 2007)
    2× NBA All-Defensive First Team (2009, 2010)
    NBA Rookie of the Year (2004)

  • Kyrie Irving2

    Draft selection: 1 (2011)

    Stats
    381 games played, 21.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3.4 rpg

    Achievements
    NBA champion (2016)
    4× NBA All-Star (2013–2015, 2017)
    NBA All-Star Game MVP (2014)
    All-NBA Third Team (2015)
    NBA Rookie of the Year (2012)
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (2012)

  • Žydrūnas Ilgauskas3

    Draft selection: 20 (1996)

    Stats
    771 games played, 13.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.6 bpg

    Achievements
    2× NBA All-Star (2003, 2005)
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (1998)

  • Collin Sexton4

    Draft selection: 8 (2018)

    Stats
    82 games played, 16.7 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.9 rpg

  • Tristan Thompson5

    Draft selection: 4 (2011)

    Stats
    562 games played, 9.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg

    Achievements
    NBA champion (2016)
    NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2012)

  • Brad Daugherty6

    Draft selection: 1 (1986)

    Stats
    548 games played, 19.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.7 apg

    Achievements
    5× NBA All-Star (1988, 1989, 1991–1993)
    All-NBA Third Team (1992)
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (1987)

  • Ron Harper7

    Draft selection: 8 (1986)

    Stats
    228 games played, 19.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.7 apg

    Achievements
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (1987)

  • Terrell Brandon8

    Draft selection: 11 (1991)

    Stats
    457 games played, 12.7 ppg, 4.9 apg, 1.4 spg

    Achievements
    2× NBA All-Star (1996, 1997)
    NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1992)

  • Jamal Crawford9

    Draft selection: 8 (2000)

    Stats
    Never played for Cavaliers

  • Kevin Johnson10

    Draft selection: 7 (1987)

    Stats
    52 games played, 7.3 ppg

  • JJ Hickson11

    Draft selection: 19 (2008)

    Stats
    223 games played, 9.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg

  • Andre Miller12

    Draft selection: 11 (1999)

    Stats
    255 games played, 14.5 ppg, 8.2 apg, 4.2 rpg

    Achievements
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (2000)

  • Mike Mitchell13

    Draft selection: 15 (1978)

    Stats
    271 games played, 19.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg

    Achievements
    NBA All-Star (1981)

  • Dajuan Wagner14

    Draft selection: 6 (2002)

    Stats
    102 games played, 9.4 ppg

  • Brevin Knight15

    Selection: 16 (1997)

    Stats
    190 games played, 9.0 ppg, 7.6 apg, 2.0 spg

    Achievements
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (1998)

  • Chris Mills16

    Draft selection: 22 (1993)

    Stats
    319 games played, 12.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg

  • Dion Waiters17

    Draft selection: 4 (2012)

    Stats
    164 games played, 14.3 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.4 rpg

    Achievements
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (2013)

  • Brendan Haywood18

    Draft selection: 20 (2001)

    Stats
    22 games played, 1.6 ppg

  • Vitaly Potapenko19

    Draft selection: 12 (1996)

    Stats
    177 games played, 6.7 ppg

  • Derek Anderson20

    Draft selection: 13 (1997)
    Stats
    104 games played, 11.3 ppg, 3.6 apg

    Achievements
    NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1998)

  • Bob Sura21

    Draft selection: 17 (1995)

    Stats
    330 games played, 8.1 ppg, 3.7 apg

  • Andrew Wiggins22

    Draft selection: 1 (2014)

    Stats
    Never played for Cavaliers

  • Sergey Karasev23
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    Sergey Karasev

    Draft selection: 19 (2013)

    Stats
    22 games played, 1.7 ppg

  • Chad Kinch24

    Draft selection: 22 (1980)

    Stats
    29 games played, 2.8 ppg

  • DeSagana Diop25

    Draft selection: 8 (2001)

    Stats
    193 games played, 1.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg