Perfect Cavaliers player for every Immaculate Grid pairing: Eastern Conference
The Cleveland Cavaliers seemed to swap players with their Eastern Conference brethren quite frequently over the years, yielding plenty of options to choose from. Let’s dig beneath current players and superstars to highlight the perfect picks for each pairing.
Played for Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons
Damon Jones – There are more popular connections to make here, such as Ben Wallace and Andre Drummond, but let’s instead go back to the first LeBron James era and the inaccurate shooter the Cavaliers signed to a big deal in free agency. He stopped in Detroit a few years before making it to Cleveland.
Played for Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls
Nate Thurmond – You could use a more modern name like Carlos Boozer or Dwyane Wade here, but we’ll instead highlight Hall of Fame big man Thurmond, who starred for the Warriors for 11 seasons before stopping in Chicago and Cleveland to finish his career.
Played for Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers
Andrew Bynum – The Cavaliers tried to buy low on a former All-Star center in 2013-14, but Bynum only made it 24 games. They dumped him on the Bulls, who waived him, allowing him to sign with Indiana for two games.
Played for Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks
Terrell Brandon – The pipeline between Cleveland and Milwaukee is one of the most heavily trafficked. Let’s tag the two-time All-Star Brandon here, who went to the Bucks after starting his career with Cleveland in the 1990s.
Played for Cavaliers and New York Knicks
Walt “Clyde” Frazier – If you want a more obscure name try Luke Kornet, but one of the greatest players in Knicks history did finish his career in Cleveland.
Played for Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets
Timofey Mozgov – An important midseason addition to the 2014-15 Cavaliers, Mozgov started for two seasons with the Cavs before signing a massive contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2016. He lasted just one season before he was dumped on the Brooklyn Nets for 31 games to finish his career.
Played for Cavaliers and Boston Celtics
Bimbo Coles – This is your best spot to use Shaquille O’Neal, but instead you could put Bimbo Coles, whose real name is Vernell Eufaye Coles. He spent three seasons with the Cavs and then stopped in Boston for 14 appearances.
Played for Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers
JaVale McGee – This center can help a lot of connections as he has played for eight different teams. He did suit up for six games with the Sixers in 2015 and 33 for the Cavaliers in 2020-21.
Played for Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors
Anthony Bennett – The worst draft bust in Cavaliers history stopped in Toronto before his NBA career finished its fizzling out.
Played for Cavaliers and Miami Heat
Shaun Livingston – A three-time champion with the Golden State Warriors, the 6’7″ point guard stopped by both Miami and Cleveland as he bounced around the league before landing with the Warriors in 2014.
Played for Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks
Jose Calderson – Fans of international basketball know how good Jose Calderon was throughout his career, which included 14 NBA seasons. The journeyman guard landed in Atlanta and Cleveland in back-to-back seasons near the end of his career.
Played for Cavaliers and Orlando Magic
Ben Wallace – Skipping the obvious connection to Wallace and the Pistons or Bulls, you can take advantage of the all-time defender playing a season in Orlando before joining the Pistons.
Played for Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets
Isaiah Thomas – It was a major letdown for the Cavaliers and Isaiah Thomas that the dynamic point guard was never the same after his hip injury. He bounced around the league and played his last season in Charlotte.
Played for Cavaliers and Washington Wizards
Mark Price – Old hats might remember where Cavs legend Mark Price went after nine seasons in Cleveland, but not many.