Worst Starter No. 11 – Richard Jefferson
The presence of Richard Jefferson on this list may shock many Cavaliers fans; it may anger some as well. When Kevin Love went down with an injury in the 2016 NBA Finals, Jefferson stepped into the starting lineup for a couple of games and had some big moments defensively as the Cavs clawed their way back to win the title. He was absolutely a valuable piece of their rotation, the “Shane Battier” type of combo forward that helped to unlock the best parts of LeBron James’ game.
The reason Jefferson is here, however, is that he was overall quite bad whenever he was asked to start in the regular season. He did so 18 times, and 11 times had a negative Box Plus-Minus score, suggesting a league-average player would have been a better choice.
Jefferson’s tough defense was a welcome addition to the rotation, but by the time he reached the Cavaliers he was a shell of his former self on offense. He shot 52-of-119 as a starter (44.5 percent) and the contending Cavaliers went 8-10 when he started. It wasn’t his best role at that point in his career, and the numbers bear it out.