The 10 greatest big men in Cleveland Cavaliers history

Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images /
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a history of getting great contributions from their big men on the inside. These players have protected the paint, fought for rebounds, scored a lot of buckets and done all the dirty work for their teams. Over the past 50 years of Cavalier basketball these giants of the game have helped their teams get to the playoffs and compete for NBA championships.

Today, the Cavs have Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen imposing their tenacious ways on opponents and this has started to rev up the Cavs chances at more NBA titles. Can they make a future Top 10 list for the Cavs?

Let’s look at the current Top 10 list of Cavs big men that have shaped the identity of these hard-working Cleveland teams, with this factoring in true 4s and 5s, as opposed to a prior Top 15 forwards and Top 10 centers list. Let’s begin with No. 10.

No. 10 Cleveland Cavaliers big man: Campy Russell

Campy Russell is a figure on the Cavalier television broadcasts these days, but he was an excellent player for the Cavs when he played for them from 1974-80. He averaged 16 points and five rebounds. His best seasons were between 1977 and 1980 when he was posting 20 points a night and six to seven boards.

He also helped the Cavs when they went to the playoffs during the 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1981 seasons. He typically was scoring in double figures in these games and rebounding well. In the 1976 playoffs, Cleveland made it to the Eastern Conference Finals and Russell was a big part of that series. Though the Wine and Gold lost the series it was a fight to the end as they lost in six games. Russell scored in double digits in all but the last game of the set.

Russell made one NBA All-Star Game back in 1979. He had one triple-double that season as well. He was often in the top 20 in free throw attempts and makes as well throughout his career.