Two of the holes the Cleveland Cavaliers have in their roster are viable players at the wing spot and dependable 3-point shooting.
In an attempt to address both holes, the Cavs sent Ricky Rubio and multiple draft picks to the Indiana Pacers for Caris LeVert in early February.
A 6-foot-6 wing, LeVert averaged 13.6 points in 19 games with Cleveland, but he shot just 43.5 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from 3-point range during that span.
He has one year remaining on his contract at about $18.8 million, and people are wondering whether the Cavs will offer him a long-term deal to stay in The Land.
It may not be a wise choice.
LeVert Is A Good Player, But Maybe Not A Great Fit On The Cavs
In six seasons in the National Basketball Association, LeVert has established himself as a legitimate scorer who can comfortably play both the shooting guard and small forward positions.
Caris LeVert showing off the handle 👀 pic.twitter.com/pSSEG0agSo
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 22, 2021
He seemed to come of age in the 2019-20 campaign, his fourth in the league, when he averaged 18.7 points and 4.4 rebounds a game while hitting 36.4 percent from downtown.
Throwback to Caris Levert dropping 51 on the Celtics ☘️ pic.twitter.com/6zRHvfO5Ty
— Brooklyn Netcast (@BrooklynNetcast) July 17, 2021
However, he has dealt with injury and health issues his entire career.
Only once he has appeared in over 60 games in a single season – that was in 2018.
His 3-point shooting percentage is also dismal, and it has gone up and down over the years.
LeVert has a career 3-point accuracy of 33.3 percent, and the 2020 campaign was the only time he went north of 35 percent in that category.
Although he can be a good defender, he’s not an elite defender by any means, and he’s not the type of man who is a game-changer on that end of the court.
LeVert Is Not The Answer To Cleveland’s Weaknesses
This season, the Cavs were 15th in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage, and overall they were just 20th in offensive efficiency and 25th in points scored.
Bringing a player like him off the bench may not be a bad idea, but after starting 180 of his 318 career games, LeVert may not be open to that idea, and it would likely result in him making less money on his next contract.
Only three Cleveland rotation players this year shot better than 36 percent from beyond the arc: Darius Garland, Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo.
That type of anemic marksmanship from the outside will make it hard for the team to get back to the playoffs any time soon.
What the Cavs really need is 3-and-D players with length who can make defenses pay for keying on Garland while giving him a reliable outlet whenever he penetrates or is trapped on the perimeter.
Perhaps the fact that LeVert will have an expiring contract next season will make him a somewhat attractive trade chip on the open court for at least one team.
If someone bites, Cleveland could use him to bring in at least one player who will fit what coach J.B. Bickerstaff is building while also maybe giving itself a bit of salary cap relief moving forward.
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