Caris LeVert starting for Cavs would be the right approach

Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

As we get closer to training camp the Cleveland Cavaliers and most of the NBA rosters are on the way to being seemingly set for the 2022-23 season. The biggest remaining question for the Cavs is restricted free agent guard Collin Sexton is still not signed long-term. Still, it would be a surprise if Collin wasn’t back next year.

The only real question left to be answered is who will start at the shooting guard position next to Darius Garland next season, regarding the starters?

According to Evan Dammarell of Fear The Sword and Right Down Euclid, going into training camp Caris LeVert is essentially slotted in at the starting 2. Chris Fedor of (subscription required) reported the same recently, with both doing so in mailbag responses.

The Cavs starting LeVert to begin next season would be the approach.

LeVert starting would make a lot of sense and I can understand it from the Cavaliers’ standpoint. Dammarell did mention that LeVert will have to compete with Ochai Ogbaji and Sexton (assuming he returns) for that starting job, but again LeVert starting would make plenty of sense.

He shouldn’t be mistaken as a defensive stopper, but he offers more size at that position, would probably guard the opposing teams’ best offensive guard, so Garland doesn’t have to exert more energy on that end, and is more of a playmaker than Sexton and Ogbaji.

Playing two small guards in the starting lineup just causes too many defensive issues. If LeVert does indeed get the starting nod over Sexton it’s just likely the Cavs see LeVert as more of a traditional fit and just value his size over Sexton, and he can provide some more secondary playmaking.

LeVert over Ogbaji would be sensible from the standpoint of at least right now Ogbaji doesn’t profile as an advanced shot creator. With LeVert, he is someone when he’s on can easily create his own shot and can go off. He takes some of the pressure off Garland where Garland wouldn’t have to do everything all the time. Ogbaji may project as the more natural and consistent 3-point shooter, as LeVert can be streaky, but Agbaji starting would seem premature for now.

Last year when the Cavaliers acquired Caris via trade, he had games where he showed why the Cavs traded for him, however, it was a bag of mixed reviews. LeVert will have had an entire offseason to get acclimated with Cleveland’s system. The Cavaliers had high hopes when they traded for LeVert and I believe with more time to get acclimated in the system we’ll see a bounce-back year from him and more of the LeVert the Cavs thought they were getting when they traded for him.

LeVert had 15.8 points and 4.6 assists in his 10 regular season starts last season with Cleveland, and shot 47.3 percent, and there were positive signs when he was appearing to get more comfortable.

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So hopefully with more time alongside Garland and others, we’ll see LeVert be an impact player in a number of ways next year. Time will tell, though.