Caris LeVert is not typically a player who has been starting this season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but when he's in games, he is a difference-maker in his minutes despite coming off the bench.
Coming into this season, it was nice for LeVert to have role clarity, as opposed to coming into the 2022-23 campaign, and much like other Cavaliers, LeVert has been a guy who has stepped up in recent weeks with Darius Garland and Evan Mobley sidelined.
On the season, LeVert has put up 16.0 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds per contest, and in his last 15 appearances, he's averaged 17.1 points, 4.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game. In that span, connecting on 38.2 percent of his three-point attempts per outing as well.
Granted, LeVert had only four points on one-of-seven shooting in Cleveland's beatdown of the Milwaukee Bucks (albeit without Giannis Antetokounmpo) on Wednesday, but LeVert's all-around impact has been one of the constants for Cleveland for much of this season's first half. LeVert was dealing with a wrist ailment and was initially questionable going into the Milwaukee game as well, for what it's worth, and that was an uncharacteristic scoring performance for the year.
There are going to be some off nights here and there from LeVert as a shooter, given the nature of his role, but either way, he's continually given the Cavaliers quality play and contributions in a variety of areas. In turn, he keeps demonstrating how he's a key player for this surging group that's won six straight games, and even when Garland returns, he's still going to be an important piece, with LeVert's multifacted skill set.
LeVert keeps showing how much he means to the Cavaliers.
Despite him often coming off the bench, LeVert is arguably one of the Cavaliers' five best players, and for this group, he's made an impact for them in multiple areas.
LeVert has had 16.0 points per contest this season, and he's hovered around his career averages when it comes to rebounding and assists per game. Plus, this season, he's placed in the 93rd percentile in assist rate among wings, per Cleaning The Glass.
Along with the offensive/perimeter element, LeVert's hustle plays, his defensive contributions and what he poses as a transition threat all have given the Cavaliers a lift. It's been encouraging to see LeVert so bought into a crucial role for Cleveland defensively over the course of the past two seasons, where he's shown growth on-ball, and he's been a disruptor in passing lanes off-ball.
LeVert helps set the tone on both ends of the floor with his multiple-effort plays at times as a rotator to drivers and shooters defensively, and that's led to him having a respectable 1.2 steals per-36 minutes this season. He's also registered 2.0 deflections per game on the year, per NBA.com's hustle data.
All of that said, if and when LeVert settles back in regarding his wrist ailment, with him being a logical trade chip, Cleveland might want to cash in on that, particularly if they can bring in more playable forward production and/or a three-and-D player. Cleveland is rumored to be on the market for that this trade season, with them being recently being linked to Royce O'Neale and De'Andre Hunter as possibilities, for instance.
However, even with that being the case as it pertains to LeVert, he was one of Cleveland's bright spots in a disappointing playoff series loss to the New York Knicks last year, and LeVert has often given the Cavs a boost in a number of areas this season. And whether or not Garland has been involved, LeVert's been one of Cleveland's best drivers/on-ball threats and playmakers, and he's benefited from Cleveland's new-look offense over the last month or so in his own right.
LeVert is one of the Cavaliers' best players, and they re-signed him over the summer for his two-way play, which has been crucial.