Midway through the 2021-22 season, the Cleveland Cavaliers shipped injured veteran point guard Ricky Rubio to the Indiana Pacers for Caris LeVert, a 6-foot-6 wing.
It was hoped that LeVert would give the Cavs some scoring, as well as create for others.
The results so far have been mixed.
This offseason, Cleveland will have to tender a new contract to rising star Darius Garland that could be for the max salary available, as well as one to fellow guard Collin Sexton, who will become a free agent on July 1.
LeVert has one year remaining on his deal at nearly $19 million, and there has been speculation on whether the Cavs will or should give him a contract extension to keep him in The Land.
LeVert Can Definitely Help The Cavs
One area of emphasis this offseason for Cleveland is getting playmaking help for Garland in order to take the pressure off him and make its offense more dynamic and harder to contain.
LeVert certainly has the ability to help in that department.
He has a career average of 4.0 assists per game, and in 2021 he put up 5.2 assists a game.
This season, in 19 contests with the Cavs, he had 3.9 dimes per game.
Caris LeVert hustles and hits Evan Mobley for the SLAM 💪pic.twitter.com/ztV5nxH5xB
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationCP) March 19, 2022
LeVert also seems to protect the ball well, as evidenced by his career average of just 1.9 turnovers a game, giving him a strong assist-to-turnover ratio.
One area that the Cavs could really use help in is 3-point shooting, which is something they struggled with at times this year.
But LeVert has proven to be inconsistent in that department over the years.
The University of Michigan product made just 31.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc after getting traded to Cleveland, and he has shot over 36 percent for an entire season from that distance just once in his career.
However, when LeVert was at Michigan, he appeared to be a dead-eye shooter.
He shot at least 40.0 percent from downtown in his last three seasons with the Wolverines, and he topped out at 44.6 percent as a senior.
Perhaps a good, solid summer of shooting many hundreds of outside jumpers a day will get his 3-point shooting accuracy to a respectable level next season.
But one thing is for sure – LeVert can score.
He put up 13.6 points in 29.8 minutes a game while with the Cavs this year.
Caris LeVert is a BUCKET pic.twitter.com/7wg8vrArxE
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 12, 2022
Should The Cavs Extend LeVert?
With lots of money due to Garland and Sexton this summer, and with another big extension on the horizon for Evan Mobley, it would be wise for the Cavs to let things play out for LeVert.
If he has a great season in 2023, they can look into re-signing him, although he may ask for a price that would be too steep given the money that will be due to Garland, Sexton and Mobley.
If LeVert doesn’t work out, his contract could be somewhat attractive in a trade midway through next season given that it is an expiring one and it could give another team salary cap relief when it comes off the books.
Cleveland certainly needs help at the wing position, and LeVert is one of several prospects there the team will evaluate over the next 12 months.
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