Where does Lebron fit best?

Given their surplus of shooting guards, the Cavs really have no choice but to play LeBron James at the point.

Updated: October 1, 2003, 1:15 PM ET
By By Terry Brown | NBA Insider

I say Cleveland. You say LeBron James. I say Cavaliers. You say LeBron James. I say anything remotely close to basketball in a Midwest state and the reply will be the same. LeBron James.

And the same will be true when the Cleveland Cavaliers get to picking names, numbers and positions for the upcoming season.

I say point guard. You say LeBron James. I say shooting guard. You say LeBron James. I say small forward. You say LeBron James. And, more times than not, you'd be right. The fact is, he is arguably already the best player on the Cavs, the biggest reason that the seats will be filled and their only chance at redeeming a franchise that has fallen on hard times.

And everyone else on the team will just have to get used to hearing LeBron James.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Point guard Exp Ht '02-03 Stats Notes
LeBron James R 6-8 -- The argument isn't whether he can pass or dribble or run an offense. It's whether the Cavs can afford to have him play anywhere else on the floor and not have to sacrifice already available talent. Three of the Cavaliers' four top scorers are, realistically, shooting guards. Add in Darius Miles, and that's four guys who prefer slashing and cutting to the hoop. James is best of the group at passing, dribbling and running an offense. He may be the best player on the team. But, inexperience or not, he's also the best playmaker on the team.
Kevin Ollie 7 6-2 6.5 ppg,
3.5 apg
Kevin played for the Sonics and Bucks last year after playing for the Bulls and Pacers the year before and the Nets and Sixers the year before that. In fact, if he finishes the season on the Cavaliers' roster, it would be only the second time in his six-year NBA career that he completed a full season in the same NBA uniform. He remains a capable backup (a league best assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.04 last year) and strong defender who last season peaked at 23 minutes a game. He has come off the bench in 290 of his 316 career games.
J.R. Bremer 2 6-2 8.3 ppg,
2.6 apg
It took J.R. more than two months to finally earn the starting point guard spot on a team whose small forward and power forward ended up being the team's top two assist men. But that was Boston, and this is Cleveland, where no one averaged more than 5.5 apg last season. So it could be Bremer by default all over again. But at 36-percent shooting as a rookie, that's all, at best, it will be.
Shooting guard Exp Ht '02-03 Stats Notes
Ricky Davis 6 6-7 20.6 ppg,
5.5 apg
Yes, he averaged more than 20 points a game last season. Yes, he shot only 41 percent. And, yes, he was about as bad as you can get in the locker room and on the bench. But Davis also led the team in assists, grabbed almost five rebounds a game and snatched 1.5 steals a game. And while many people will say it's easy to score 20 points a game on a bad team, only 25 players from 21 different teams did it last year.
LeBron James R 6-8 -- This could very well be his natural position, but with Davis already on the roster it wouldn't do a team that won only 17 games last year any good to have its best player on the floor while the second-best player watches from the bench.
Dajuan Wagner 2 6-2 13.4 ppg,
.370 FG pct.
The kid scores. And scores. And scores. As a starter, he made a point every 2.1 minutes. As a sub, he scored a point every 2.2 minutes. The problem though, is that with this current lineup, he isn't going to get the necessary minutes to make those numbers mean anything. Davis and James both have half a foot on him and can score, too. The result will be more of last year, in which we saw Wagner score 79 points in his first four games as a pro and only 35 points in his last four games.
Ira Newble 4 6-7 7.7 ppg,
.490 FG pct
Somehow has started 80 games over the last two seasons, which says just as much about the Atlanta Hawks, his former team, as it will the Cavaliers if Newble starts even one or two games for any reason other than injury.
Small forward Exp Ht '02-03 Stats Notes
Darius Miles 4 6-9 9.4 ppg,
5.4 rpg
Until this kid learns how to shoot, you can forget about those triple-double expectations and Kevin Garnett comparisons. Miles has hit four 3-pointers in three seasons, and his shooting percentage has gone from 50 percent as a rookie to 48 percent to 41 percent last season. This is his second chance on his second team in only his fourth season. This time, though, he'll have to do it outside of the spotlight.
LeBron James R 6-8 -- James will get minutes at the point, minutes at shooting guard and, yes, even minutes at small forward. One slip from Miles and this could very well be where LeBron is mentioned on the All-Star ballot.
Jason Kapono R 6-8 -- Job security rests in the fact that he's the best shooter on one of the worst shooting teams in the league.
Power forward Exp Ht '02-03 Stats Notes
Carlos Boozer 2 6-9 10 ppg,
7.5 rpg
This is math the way they used to do it in black Chucks. In October, he averaged two rebounds per game. In November, he was up to 4.4. By December, he was averaging 7.4, and then 7.5 in January. In February, Boozer was grabbing 8.2 rebounds per game. By March, he was up to 9.1. In the last month of the season, he averaged 10.7 rebounds per game, which isn't too bad considering that only three players in the entire league averaged more than that over the course of the season.
Chris Mihm 4 7-0 5.9 ppg,
4.4 rpg
The good news is he's still 7-feet tall. The bad news is that, injury or not, he was beaten out of his position by a guy who is still 6-foot-9.
Center Exp Ht '02-03 Stats Notes
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 6 7-3 17.2 ppg,
7.5 rpg
In his first season in the NBA, Z averaged 8.8 rebounds per game and shot above 50 percent. Before being seriously injured in his second season, he was also averaging 8.8 rebounds per game and shooting above 50 percent. Then the 7-foot-3 center puts up a career-high 17.9 points per game last season, and we somehow lose track of the fact that he's averaging only 7.5 rebounds and shooting 44 percent while the man he's supposed to be guarding just cut back-door for another uncontested layup. Of course, everyone knows you've got to be scoring at least 20 a game to give up those kinds of shots.
DeSagana Diop 3 7-0 1.5 ppg,
1 bpg
Averaged 1.5 points per game to go along with his 1.9 personal fouls per game. Thank goodness a bucket is still worth two points.
Michael Stewart 7 6-10 0.8 ppg,
1.2 rpg
In the last five years, he's scored a grand total of 210 points with a season-high of 5 last year.
Bruno Sundov 6 7-2 1.2 ppg,
1.1 rpg
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, this guy goes and scores 137 points in the last five years, also with a season-high of 5 last year.

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