Ranking every No. 1 overall draft pick to play for the Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Derrick Rose, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images /

No. 7: Derrick Rose, 16 games

Derrick Rose was a high school phenom and college star at Memphis, leading to his selection as the first overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft. The Chicago Bulls made Rose the centerpiece of their offense he responded by leading them to the top of the Eastern Conference and winning MVP in 2011.

Then injuries struck; credit Rose for managing to continue his career for another decade, but he was not the same person after multiple devastating knee injuries. Rose signed a contract in 2017 to join the contending Cavaliers but didn’t have enough in the tank; the Cavs moved him to the Utah Jazz who promptly cut him. Rose played in 16 games, starting seven of them, averaging 9.8 points per game and doing little else but shoot.

No. 6: Joe Smith, 48 games

Joe Smith went first overall to the Golden State Warriors in the 1995 NBA Draft after a decorated career at Maryland. He is best known for the tampering scandal when the Minnesota Timberwolves promised to sign him to a lucrative long-term deal if he would first sign with them on small one-year deals until they gained his Bird Rights. The league found out about the agreement and voided the deal, prevent the Timberwolves from re-signing him.

That started Smith off on his journey around the league. He played for 12 franchises across a 16-year career, including two stops on the Cleveland Cavaliers in consecutive seasons. The 32-year-old power forward averaged 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Cavs in 48 total games, and chipped in another 26 playoff appearances.