Top Five Cavs Free Agent Signings Of The Gund/Q Era

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Aug 8, 2014; Akron, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during the LeBron James Family Foundation Reunion and Rally at InfoCision Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

To commemorate twenty seasons of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball at Quicken Loans arena, King James Gospel is looking at the best in various categories during that span. Today we look at the top five free agents for the Cleveland Cavaliers during The Gund/Q Arena era. Last year finished up the Cavs 20th season in their hallowed arena.

Authors Note: The Cleveland Cavaliers have a long, sad history of free agent signings. The Ted Stepien era during the 1980s was like a dark cloud surrounding the franchise and worked as repellent to any and all big names on the market. One Cavs’ legend who played in the 80s and 90s once told me his former coach always threatened to trade him and others to Cleveland if they didn’t perform well in practices or games. He was joking. We think.

With that being said, the majority of the Cavaliers’ best free agent acquisitions have come from the not-so-distant past. While it would be easy to slap names like Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert, Mo Williams and J.R. Smith on this list who inked new deals just this past summer, only seasons from 1994-95 through 2013-14 will be considered.

Here are the Cavs’ top signings from the past two decades.

#5. Kyle Lowry, PG, 2010

Stats with Cavs: N/A

Don’t remember Lowry playing with in Cleveland? That’s because he never did.

The Cavs signed the 24-year-old to an offer sheet to be a part of their rebuilding process in 2010 not long after LeBron James skipped town. The Houston Rockets would go on to match the four-year, $24 million deal, a contract that would turn out to be an incredible bargain.

So why is this one of Cleveland’s best signings of the past 20 years even though Lowry never actually played with the Cavs?

This was one of the first moves by then new GM Chris Grant. Sadly, it was one of his best. Lowry was far from a household name at the time, but Grant and the Cavs had the foresight to see what he would eventually turn into. This past season with the Toronto Raptors, Lowry averaged 17.8 points, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals. He was named a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, ahead of players like Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler.

Perhaps not getting Lowry was for the best, as who knows if the Cavs would have still selected Irving No. 1 in the 2011 draft. Passing on a point guard for (gasp) Derrick Williams would have been a monumental mistake.

Next: Big Guy Who Didn't Workout at #4