Worst Trade No. 7: Paying a premium for 16 games
Thus far on our list of the worst trades in franchise history we have hit on quite a few big names in Cavaliers history, from Kyrie Irving to Larry Nance. We are about to transition to a series of trades that saw the Cavs miss out on drafting star players. Here in the middle we will pay homage to a trade nearly every Cavs fan has forgotten about, but which in its own way was an absolute train wreck of a deal.
In February of 2005, the Cavaliers were trying to build a winning roster around LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Their attempt to do so was trading a future first-round pick for a Czech wing named Jiří Welsch. Welsch played just 16 games with the Cavaliers, averaging 2.9 points per game, before the Cavs sent him to Milwaukee for a second.
Why did the Cavs trade for Welsch? To answer that question, we can call our old friend Jim Paxson back to the stage. Jim, why did you trade a first-round pick for a bit player like Welsch?
“We’ve been interested in Jiri for some time now and we felt it was the right time to get him here,” Paxson said. “He is an aggressive, complete player that can impact offense and defense, so we look forward to his involvement on both ends of the court. Jiri has the talent needed to make a difference for us this season and we look forward to seeing him excel as a Cavalier.”
In a related story, Paxson was fired two months later.