In light of the shift, the good folks at Bleacher Report assembled the origin stories of every NBA team's name.
Turns out the Cavaliers was the winning entry in a contest. The finalists also included the Jays, the Foresters, the Towers and the Presidents. (The Presidents?)
The man who ultimately won the contest, Jerry Tomko, wrote (per NBA.com) that the name would "represent a group of daring, fearless men, whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds."
Which is appropriate — if irrelevant to the region — given how dismal the odds are and have been.