The best and worst-case scenarios for Cavs’ Caris LeVert this season

Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images)
Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images) /
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Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The best-case scenario for LeVert with the Cavs in 2022-23

As much as some don’t want to admit it, LeVert was at his best when he started for the Cavs last season. Sure, most players produce more when they play more minutes. However, the soon-to-be 28-year-old guard not only saw an increase in raw numbers, but shooting efficiency as well.

LeVert played nine games off the bench for Cleveland last season, averaging 11.1 points per game, to go with 3.2 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 40% from the field and 37% from three. In his 12 games as a starter, he averaged 15.5 points per game, to go with 4.8 assists and 3.9 boards while shooting 44% from the field and 37% from three, including the Play-In games.

When he was able to play more minutes and get into a rhythm, he scored more points, more efficiently. That’s a recipe for success for a guard who looks to be a viable scoring threat.

With that being said, the best-case scenario for Caris LeVert this season wouldn’t be as a starter. To really return value to the team and contribute in the best way possible, he would need to flip his efficiency around and come off the bench playing like he did as a starter last season.

He would be much more of an asset as the sixth man, giving the second unit a type of scoring punch many teams don’t have coming off their bench. Moreover, it would be ideal to keep the ball in Darius Garland’s hands in the starting rotation. It gives the team more space to operate with, rather than having two other ball-dominant guards.

In my opinion, this means he needs to be careful of his shot selection. Last season, he would often come off the bench and try to force his rhythm, shooting shots that just weren’t there. If he can get accustomed to coming off the bench and getting to his spots organically, he will absolutely thrive on this team.

I always go back to his brief scoring battle with Trae Young in the second Play-In game last season. He came off the bench with 2:09 left to go in the third quarter and ended a three-minute scoring drought that allowed Atlanta to take their first lead of the game. It was a matter of how much he scored during that stretch, it what the timelines of it. He came off the bench and provided much needed scoring punch. A scoring that punch that kept their season alive for a moment.

I truly believe Caris LeVert can produce the same numbers he did as a starter last season, off the bench this season. He has that type of skill set, he just needs to be patient and not feel like he has to immediately start launching shots as soon as he gets subbed in. If he can slow the game down and let his shots come naturally, he’d be the perfect fit for this Cavaliers team.