Going into next season, Caris LeVert will be back with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeVert and the Cavaliers agreed to terms on him coming back via two-year, $32 million deal this offseason, which was Cleveland’s first move of 2023 NBA Free Agency.
LeVert and the Wine and Gold reportedly had mutual interest in him returning, and it was not shocking when it was announced he’d be back. He had some ups and downs last season in his first full year with Cleveland, and with the trade arrival of Donovan Mitchell last offseason, it led to some bigger bumps in the road for LeVert.
To LeVert’s credit, despite scoring inconsistencies last year, he was continually one of the Cavaliers’ better playmakers and his off-ball play was much better than expected. He shot a career-best 39.2 percent from three-point range, was an active cutter, and his defense and hustle play made a difference for the Wine and Gold.
LeVert had issues getting going, but when he was moved to more so a bench role last season, he seemed much more comfortable, and the results followed. That should pay off for next season as well, and should give him some real peace of mind.
Next season, more role clarity for him with the Cavs should give LeVert peace of mind.
LeVert had struggles inside the arc for much of last season, and was often off the mark with his pull-up game.
It was uncharacteristic for him in that regard, and overall, he had 12.1 points per game in the 2022-23 campaign. That was tied for his second-lowest scoring output of his seven-year career, and LeVert shot what was his second-lowest clip from two-point range at 46.2 percent.
That said, with better chemistry alongside other key options for stretches and hopefully improved shooting and spacing for stretches, LeVert should fare better. Max Strus and Georges Niang shouldn’t hurt in that aspect for LeVert, among others.
LeVert being more locked in a bench role should make a difference also, one would imagine, too. Last season, even with some inconsistencies with the general production still, he was seemingly in a better rhythm when he was coming off the bench.
LeVert closed last regular season strong and was one of the Cavaliers’ bright spots in their playoff series loss to the New York Knicks in the first round.
Granted, LeVert was a starter in several of those playoff outings, and could feasibly start some next season as well. He’s had ample experience both in starting and bench contributing roles over the course of his career, additionally.
Regardless, with what LeVert displayed in the second half of last season for the Cavaliers, he could definitely factor regularly into closing lineups for them it seems, and if his two-way buy-in carries forward from last year, he could have a profound impact.
That was a pleasant surprise from LeVert last year, and his hustle, grit and anticipation on defense all were impressive then. And hopefully, with a few of Cleveland’s offseason adds in the fold from here,LeVert should have more slashing and pick-and-roll success next year.
Let’s not discount how LeVert should be all the more effective as a playmaker as well. He’s long been a good passer, had 3.9 assists per game last season, his career average, and last season, he placed in the 90th percentile in assist rate among wings, per Cleaning The Glass.
Generally, as we’ve expressed here, though, with more role clarity, LeVert should have more peace of mind looking onward.