The Cleveland Cavaliers often referred to as the Cavs, are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland. The Cavaliers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. Home games were first held at Cleveland Arena from 1970 to 1974, followed by the Richfield Coliseum from 1974 to 1994. Since 1994, the Cavs have played home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in downtown Cleveland, which is shared with the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League.
Cleveland Cavaliers Team Player Salaries
|Larry Nance Jr.||26||11,200,000|
The franchise was purchased by Ted Stepien in 1980. Stepien’s tenure as owner was marked by six coaching changes, questionable trades and draft decisions, and poor attendance, leading to $15 million in financial losses. Cleveland was awarded with the top overall pick in the 2003 draft, and they selected LeBron James. Behind James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cavaliers again became a regular playoff contender by 2005. They made their first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007 after winning the first Eastern Conference championship in franchise history.
After failing to return to the NBA Finals in the ensuing three seasons, James joined the Miami Heat in 2010. As a result, the Cavaliers finished the 2010–11 season last in the conference, enduring a 26-game losing streak that, as of 2017, ranks as the longest in NBA history for a single season and second overall. Between 2010 and 2014, however, the team won the top pick in the NBA draft lottery three times, first in 2011 where they selected Kyrie Irving, and again in 2013 and 2014.
In 2014, James returned to the Cavaliers after four seasons in Miami. While the Heat had a 224–88 record during James’ four-year tenure and won NBA titles in 2012 and 2013, the Cavaliers went 97–215 and missed the playoffs each season. The Cavaliers made several moves to build a championship-contender around James, most notably acquiring power forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves, which created what many fans and media referred to a “Big Three” with James, Love, and Irving.
The Cavaliers’ roster went through many changes in the 2017–18 season, most notably the trade of Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas and other assets. Thomas was later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers as part of a trade deadline overhaul that saw the Cavaliers add several young players. The following offseason, James declined his player option to rejoin the team, instead of signing with the Lakers. In the 2018–19 season the team compiled a record of 19–63, finishing 14th in the Eastern Conference and missed the playoffs.