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CLEVELAND — The Cavaliers have put together a list of their finest players from the expansion era, as the franchise is in the midst of celebrating its 45th anniversary.
The All-70s team was presented via photo gallery on the team’s website. (You should also read the great feature on ex-Cavaliers forward Dick Snyder by Cavs.com beat writer Joe Gabriele.)
Here are the members of the Cavs’ All-1970s team:
AUSTIN CARR, 6-4, SG, 1971-80
No. 1 overall draft pick out of Notre Dame in 1971. … Averaged better than 20 points per game in each of his first three seasons. … As noted on Cavs.com, still among the franchise’s all-time top five in games played, points scored, field goals made and field goals attempted. … My dad told me AC was the greatest college player he ever saw. … And a darn good NBA one, too.
BINGO SMITH, 6-5, G/F, 1970-80
Selected by the Cavs in the 1970 expansion draft from the San Diego Rockets. … Averaged a career-high 15.9 points while playing all 82 games in 1974-75. … Versatile swingman who possessed a high-arcing jumper. … Third on the team’s all-time list with 720 games played.
CAMPY RUSSELL, 6-8, SF, 1974-80, 1984-85
Drafted by the Cavs with the No. 8 overall pick in 1974. … The pick that was used to draft Russell was obtained, along with Dick Snyder, from Seattle (for a Cavs’ first-round pick). … Nicknamed “Mr. Moves,” averaged a career-high 21.9 points and made an All-Star Game appearance in 1978-79. … Averaged 27.5 points in two playoff games the season before that. … Came off the bench in all 410 games of his Cavs career.
JIM CHONES, 6-11, C/F, 1974-79
Acquired by the Cavs in a trade with the Lakers (for a 1975 first-round draft pick) in May 0f 1974. … Averaged 15.5 points and 10.3 rebounds in his five seasons with the Cavs. … Broke his foot in practice during the playoffs of the Miracle of Richfield season of 1975-76. … Coach Bill Fitch has repeatedly insisted the Cavs would’ve won it all had Chones remained healthy.
NATE THURMOND, 6-11, C, 1975-77
Acquired by the Cavs in a trade with the Bulls in November of 1975. … Cavs sported a record of 6-11 when they traded for Thurmond. They went 43-22 after and made their first playoff appearance. … Grew up in Akron, attended Bowling Green and won a championship with the Warriors. … Averaged just 5.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in 114 career game with the Cavs. … But his leadership and winning know-how were huge factors.
SIXTH MAN: Foots Walker, 6-0, PG, 1974-80
COACH: Bill Fitch, 1970-79
Honorable Mention: Dick Snyder, Jim Cleamons, Jim Brewer, Lenny Wilkens.