Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 30 all-time greatest players

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Shawn Kemp, Cleveland Cavaliers

(Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • Three seasons with Cavaliers (1997-2000)
  • Averaged 18.5 points and 9.1 rebounds
  • 1x All-Star with Cavs

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29

Shawn Kemp

PF,

  • Three seasons with Cavaliers (1997-2000)
  • Averaged 18.5 points and 9.1 rebounds
  • 1x All-Star with Cavs

Shawn Kemp was named to six consecutive NBA All-Star teams from 1992-98. The first five were with the Seattle SuperSonics, and the sixth was in Cleveland.

Kemp was traded to the Cavs just prior to his age-28 season, which also happened to be his last year as an All-Star. While the 18.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game over his career in Cleveland is impressive, his rapid decline towards the end of his already short stint with the Cavs, the NBA lockout, and a lack of team success put a cap on his ceiling in any “greatest Cavs of all-time” conversation.

While Kemp was outstanding in 1997-98 and led Cleveland to a playoff berth (they lost in four games to the Pacers), the 1998-99 lockout meant that Kemp only appeared in 42 out of 50 games. Then, in 1999-00, Kemp’s efficiency and defensive impact took a hit as he slid over to play primarily in the center role for the first time in his career.

Despite playing in all 82 games, Kemp’s age-30 season was not kind to the Cavaliers as a whole, either, as they won just 31 games.

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