No. 4: Caris LeVert should play fewer minutes
One strength of the Cavaliers’ core of players is that they can handle large minute totals. Their youth is on their side, but the conditioning of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen helps them to play more minutes than most of their fellow bigs; both averaged over 32 minutes per game last season.
The rub last season was that J.B. Bickerstaff didn’t just ride his starters for long minutes, he did the same for Caris LeVert, whether the wing was coming off the bench or inserted into the starting lineup. LeVert averaged 30.2 minutes per game a year ago, an unnecessarily large number for a player who fits so poorly with the team’s starting guards.
One argument Bickerstaff could have made last season was a lack of other options on the wing, but that can’t be an excuse this season. From Max Strus and Dean Wade at the 3 to Sam Merrill and Isaac Okoro at the 2, there are enough players to build a rotation with that LeVert can settle into 20-25 at the most.
Perhaps a smaller role helps him hone his shooting and play to his max on defense, both areas he will need to excel in to help the Cavs get over the hump. LeVert is a prime trade candidate, but he should be given a chance to raise his efficiency and lean into a small role rather than “showcased” as a bad player.