20. Cavaliers PG Matthew Dellavedova
While not a great talent, his grinding efforts, solid defensive plays and willingness to take on the best in the league has made Matthew “Delly” Dellavedova an icon in Cleveland Sports history alongside similar unsung hero types like Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson, John MacDonald or Aaron Shea. Guys who didn’t have the stats but who were always fan favorites.
19. Cavaliers PF/C Larry Nance Jr.
Currently, the only son of an area legend on this list, Larry Nance Jr. carries his father’s namesake and number as he plays an important role for the rebuilding Cavaliers. While not the dynamic scorer his father was, the high flying son of Larry Nance Sr. has made many highlights with his impressive vertical athletism and skilled dunks.
Continued development of his shooting form has allowed him more confidence to stretch the court and shoot three-point attempts but it’s still not his primary skill. Could be a starter on the team if it wasn’t for the dynamic skillsets of Kevin Love and Andre Drummond.
18. Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr
While some would think this is low, Odell Beckham Jr. has only played one year in Cleveland and wasn’t at all impressive in it. He was slowed by injuries, hampered by poor play calling and has seen a downward spiral of production over the last three years. More in-season injuries and more post-season surgeries are libel to end the once-promising talent’s run as an elite player.
All that said, his profile as a very popular wide receiver still carries weight with the fan base, and his arrival signified a changing of expectations for the maligned football franchise. Gone were the days of fans hoping the Browns to “just don’t suck” and instead came “playoff contenders” talk. These new expectations aren’t all on Beckham but he was the final piece to that conversation’s puzzle.
17. World Wrestling Entertainment’s Mike “The Miz” Mizanin
While some may not like a pro wrestler being on this list, the WWE’s Mike “The Miz” Mizanin does qualify. While now living out of state, Mizanin is still an avid fan of the sports teams in Cleveland and was a high school graduate from Parma’s Normandy High (Go Invaders!). His success in the world of pro wrestling was never a guarantee, having come over with much disdain by that fanbase following several years as a reality T.V. personality.
Since 2007 however, Mizanin’s pro wrestling personality, The Miz, has seen much success. While championships in pro wrestling are determined by bookers and owners, it’s a sign of one’s potential, star power, and overall skill set. These belts are more akin to a gymnast earning a winning score on a routine than anything else. Which means being a promotions champion is a respectable feat regardless.
16. Cavaliers C Andre Drummond
A new addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, former Pistons center Andre Drummond seems to be sticking around for at least the next 2020-2021 season. The former Detroit-All Star is one of the leagues’ best rebounding and defensive-minded centers in all of the NBA. His arrival in Cleveland has lead many to start thinking about an accelerated rebuilding timeline.
With Drummond and Kevin Love now in the low post, few teams have a better low-post pair in the entire league. If Drummond end’s up re-signing after the 2021 season, then the Cavs could very well be playoff contenders for years to come. Assuming the younger stars do in fact make progress in their own development.