Cleveland Cavaliers 2005 Draft Preview
(Sports Network) – LeBron James failed to get Cleveland into the playoffs in
his second season in the league. The 2003-04 NBA Rookie of the Year was still
spectacular for the Cavaliers, who finished with a record of 42-40 but lost
out in the tiebreaker to New Jersey for the final postseason spot in the East.
The 20-year-old James played in 80 games and led the Cavaliers in scoring
(27.2 ppg) and assists (7.2 apg). He also grabbed 7.4 rebounds per contest and
shot 47.2 percent from the field. James is the franchise player and the club
will try and make its All-Star forward happy by surrounding him with a
talented roster that can become a fixture in the postseason.
Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who can become an unrestricted free agent, made his
second NBA All-Star team. The 30-year-old veteran averaged 16.9 points and 8.6
boards. Cleveland must decided whether it wants to invest a lot of money for
the long term on Ilgauskas.
Drew Gooden was the only Cavalier to play in all 82 regular-season games. The
6-10 forward netted 14.4 points and pulled down a team-high 9.2 rebounds per
contest. Cleveland also has guard Jeff McInnis, who contributed 12.8 points
and 5.1 helpers in 76 contests.
Cleveland will most likely try to re-sign Ilgauskas, and hopes that James will
decide to sign a long-term contract when the time comes. Gooden, Ilgauskas,
and James are a solid trio to build around, but the Cavaliers obviously are
missing something. They do not have any draft picks and will need to lure a
free agent to town that can make an impact on the club.
The Cavaliers last appeared in the playoffs in 1998 when they were eliminated
in four games in the first round by the Indiana Pacers. They need to get James
another scorer or this franchise may be one year closer to losing the best
player that has ever put on their uniform.
Key Player(s): Drew Gooden (Forward), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Center), LeBron
James (Forward/Guard), Jeff McInnis (Guard), Eric Snow (Guard), Anderson
Team Needs: Point guard and scoring off the bench.
Draft picks: NONE.