Welcome to #CavsRank, the illustrious ranking of the best all-time Cleveland Cavaliers players from some of your favorite Cavs bloggers. Today, Ohio native Ron Harper checks in at No. 16.
“Cleveland, to this day, would have had better success if they would have kept Ron Harper, because he was one of the guys who gave me the most problems in the Eastern Conference.” – Michael Jordan
The Cavs drafted Ron Harper 8th overall in the 1986 NBA draft. A big scoring guard out of Miami of Ohio, Harper was considered by some to be the best athlete in the draft. The Cavs had already selected North Carolina center Brad Daugherty with the top pick (although older Cavs fans will tell you that, post-draft cocaine overdose not withstanding, Maryland’s Len Bias should’ve been the top pick) and were looking for an athletic wing to pair with new big man. Harp fit the bill. Over his first three seasons, the high-flying Harper averaged a shade over 19 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds per game.
The Cavs and GM Wayne Embry were following the Oklahoma City model before the “Oklahoma City model” was just a lazy way to describe “building through the draft”. Embry picked up Mark Price in a draft day trade with the Mavericks and Harper, Daugherty, and power forward Hot Rod Williams (drafted by the Cavs in ’85 but sat out a year due to a point-shaving trial) made the All-Rookie Team the following season. [Read more...]