LeVert’s three-point uptick for Cavs gets shoutout from NBA University

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Cleveland Cavaliers re-signed Caris LeVert, it shouldn’t have been a shocker to anybody. It was widely reported that he’d likely be back.

Now, LeVert had some ups and downs last season, and he ideally would’ve been more on-point offensively with Cleveland thus far, but he found his way to contribute as an all-around player.

In fairness, LeVert’s scoring clip was 12.1 points per contest last season, which was below that of what one would’ve anticipated. His struggles inside the three-point line in the mid-range largely played into that.

Although on the plus side, his playmaking was a constant last season, and his perimeter defense exceeded expectations. In addition to those things, LeVert did have a career-best campaign from three-point range, as he shot 39.2 percent from deep. LeVert was one of the Cavaliers’ bright spots in the playoffs versus the New York Knicks in that series loss, when he had 15.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Pertaining to his shooting from last year, it was recently pointed out by NBA University that LeVert had a massive turnaround with his pull-up three-point shooting efficiency last season. That’s a noteworthy stat leading into the new season.

LeVert was sharp from three last season, and hopefully that’s a positive trend for him with the Cavs.

As terrific basketball account NBA University shared on X/Twitter, LeVert had the third-highest increase in his pull-up three-point shooting percentage last season at 12.7 percent. He shot 38.9 percent on those attempts last season, on a 15.2 percent frequency, per NBA.com’s shot tracking data. The qualifier from NBA University was among players who averaged at least 1.0 pull-up attempts from beyond the arc, for context.

The two other players ahead of LeVert in that aspect of shooting improvement from the season prior were Buddy Hield and Malcolm Brogdon.

Brogdon has long been a quality pull-up shooter in other areas, and his deep shooting off the bounce was the cherry on top last season. With Hield, he’s one of the league’s lethal catch-and-shoot threats, but he has shown progression in other ways as a perimeter shooter in recent seasons, and that was really tied together. Brogdon had a 15.0 percent increase in his pull-up three-point shooting clip, and Hield’s was 12.8 percent.

Circling back to LeVert in this sense, though he had mid-range shooting woes, his shooting from three last season was very encouraging, especially with Cleveland’s offseason additions such as Max Strus and Georges Niang. Those players will only aid creators like LeVert, along with Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and to some degree, Evan Mobley.

Granted, it’s maybe unrealistic for LeVert to be shooting just under 40.0 percent from deep this coming season, as his career deep shooting hit rate is 34.4 percent, even after last season. However, if he can at least continue to be respectable on catch-and-shoot situations in his sixth man minutes, with the improvements Cleveland made in the offseason also in mind, that’d be meaningful from Caris, combined with his own passing and slashing.

Generally speaking, given he’s gotten his share of flack and still seemingly does, but it was to see LeVert get that aforementioned shoutout from a great NBA University X/Twitter account in that instance.

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Whether LeVert’s better shooting from beyond the arc from last season is a trend that will hold true again in 2023-24 remains to be seen.