The following is a short debate between Cleveland Sports Talk Owner Zach Shafron and Executive Editor Andrew Baillargeon over who the second-best player in Cleveland Cavaliers’ history is
It’s easy to choose who is the greatest Cleveland Cavalier of all-time.
All jokes asides, LeBron James takes the crown. However, when asked who comes in second place, it becomes difficult to pick. After debate, the winner is center Brad Daughtery and here is why:
Not only did Daughtery average just under 20 points for his career at 19 (53.4% shooting), he also averaged just under 10 rebounds a game at 9.5. Finally, the man even had almost four assists at 3.7 each game.
Those numbers are incredibly solid.
One of the best things about Daughtery is that he played his entire career in Cleveland. Unfortunately, it was cut short because of reoccurring back problems. Still, his #43 jersey was retired by the Cavaliers on March 1, 1997.
My counterpart, Andrew Baillargeon, has point guard Mark Price as his #2 in Cleveland Cavaliers history. Price is an incredible player and certainly was one of the best ever. There are a couple of reasons why Daughtery is ahead of Price and here they are listed below.
- His entire career was in Cleveland.
- He was an extremely capable rebounder.
- He could pass the ball a bit despite playing the center position.
- He averaged more points than Price.
- He was a five-time NBA All-Star compared to Price’s four-time in more years.
Both of these players were extremely great for the City of Cleveland. Unfortunately, neither was able to bring a championship to Cleveland. That, of course, didn’t come until 2016 and with LeBron James.
Honorable mentions include: Kyrie Irving & Kevin Love
The best ability in sports is “avail”ability.
Sure, Daugherty could have become a legend had he stayed healthy. Price, however, did stay healthy for most of his career and became a Cleveland legend. Of course, both have their numbers up in rafters now, so Daugherty is probably the third-best Cavalier ever without much debate.
However, Price deserves his position as King LeBron’s prince. Here is why:
- Unlike Daugherty, Price played point guard. This position generally has a lot more competition and has more of a role to play on the court, facilitating the team’s offense.
- Despite not being a Cavalier for life, Price actually played in more games for the Cavs than Daugherty did, by a 582-568 margin.
- Price’s value to the team over Daugherty was reflected in the W/L column. In his sophomore campaign, when Price became a starter, the team won eleven more games than the year previous, going 42-40 after a 31-51 campaign. Daugherty, on the other hand, only allowed the team to win two more games than the year prior when he became a starter, going from 29-53 to the aforementioned 31-51. Thus, Price’s value to the team can be proven to have been greater than Daugherty’s.
- Price may have averaged fewer points per game, but he was a significantly better shooter than Daugherty. With Daugherty getting most of his looks in the paint, Price averaged 40% from downtown in his career while Daugherty never made a three-pointer in his entire career. Thus, Price’s offensive skill was actually better than Daugherty’s in practice, since he was far less one dimensional.
- #4’s point is extended when you consider that Price was a far better free throw shooter and thus was good at attacking the basket. Price’s career free throw percentage was 90%, nearly twenty percent higher than Daugherty’s
- Zach Shafron points out that “(Daugherty) could pass the ball a bit despite playing the center position”, but this is disproven by Daugherty’s modest 3.7 career assists per game stat line, a figure nearly doubled up by Price. This proves that Price was not only a stronger offensive player, but he was also a far better facilitator and thus did a good job setting his teammates up to succeed.
Ultimately, this debate is close, but Daugherty fails to capture the silver here because he just wasn’t as versatile as Price was. Daugherty was a very good big man, but Price’s overall value to the team is playing a more demanding position, mentally and often physically, makes him the Cavaliers’ second-best player ever with Daugherty being the runner up.
If Price is LeBron’s Prince, does that make Daugherty a knight? Jester? CST is a sports talk website, not a medieval analysis page, so it’s hard to really say.