3 NBA legends you forgot played for the Cleveland Cavaliers


Kevin Johnson is one of the Phoenix Suns' best players ever.

Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers have had some great players in their history, but are three NBA legends you surely forgot played for them.

As the Cleveland Cavaliers move through the post-LeBron James Era (Part 2), the future seems bright. James brought a championship home in 2016, led the team on two more trips to the NBA Finals and then he was gone again.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Cavaliers were a perennial playoff team led by Mark Price and Brad Daugherty. Those teams ran into the playoff buzzsaw that was Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls far too often.

Even in James’ first run with them, the Cavaliers reached an NBA Finals and won at least one playoff series five years in a row.

Amid a mix of success and failure, very good teams and very, very bad teams, the Cavaliers have had a lot of good players wear their uniform. But here are three NBA legends you forgot played for them.

3. Kevin Johnson

Johnson, or “K.J.” as he would come to be called, was one of the best (if underrated) point guards in the NBA during his time with the Phoenix Suns. He averaged at least 19 points and 10 assists per game in a season four straight years. Johnson is top-three in Suns’ history in points (third), assists (second), steals (fourth), triple-doubles (second), free throws made (first) and free throws attempted (first).

But Johnson was taken seventh overall in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Cavaliers, and traded to the Suns during his rookie season. With Mark Price starting to come into his own as their point guard going forward, Johnson lasted 52 games in Cleveland. That kind of move to trade what was seen as a surplus talent, with strict regard to position designation and role, probably would not happen today.


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