Caris LeVert has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the biggest trade so far this year. Let’s break down this trade based on the facts and what my personal opinion of this trade is.
LeVert and a 2022 second-round pick the Pacers acquired from Miami are on their way to Cleveland from in exchange for Ricky Rubio, a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick from the Rockets, and a 2027 second-round pick from the Utah Jazz.
Cleveland Cavaliers: A-
LeVert is a great point guard, and exactly what the Cavaliers need for this season. They’ve lost Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio to season-ending injuries, leaving them playing a lineup often with three big men and either Dean Wade or Cedi Osman at shooting guard. The temporary fix has worked decently so far, but if the Cavaliers want to compete with the East’s top dogs, they need a real shooting guard. Enter LeVert.
LeVert has shown he can score at an elite level, as he’s averaging 18.7 points per game on the season. Last year, he averaged 20.2 points per game, and the year before that 18.7 points per game once again. LeVert isn’t an All-Star, but that’s ok; the point guard of the Cleveland Cavaliers is Darius Garland, who was just named an All-Star for the first time in his young career. Starting center Jarrett Allen is an All-Star talent who happened to be snubbed this year, and Evan Mobley is the front runner for the Rookie of the Year award. Lauri Markkanen can give this team a formidable big man lineup, and he can space the floor. If LeVert scores like his normal self, he will boost the Cavaliers’ offense; and while he isn’t the greatest on defense, LeVert’s teammates can make up for this.
The Cavaliers are 32-21, tied for the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. With yet another scoring threat, the Cavaliers are a threat to win the Eastern Conference, which is crazy to think about. Rick Carlisle, the Pacers current Head Coach, had nothing but praise for LeVert in a post-trade press conference.
“Cleveland is in a great position, and adding a guy like Caris LeVert very well could push them to the top. Caris has been a tremendous young man to work with here. He’s a very special person and a very special player. He’s a first-class human being and a first-class pro and a tremendous player. I’m going to miss him.”Rick Carlisle
I can’t wait to see how LeVert’s teammates make him better. LeVert will be playing with Allen again, his old teammate from Brooklyn, so they already have established chemistry. LeVert’s also made it clear he’s happy about the trade to Cleveland, as it isn’t too far from where he grew up in Ohio. LeVert’s a great guy, and I can’t wait to see how he and this Cleveland team gel.
Indiana Pacers: B+
Ricky Rubio is a solid point guard, and while he unfortunately will not be playing this season, he’s a proven veteran who can mentor the younger players during this rebuild. We’ve seen the importance of veterans on younger teams who are trying to establish a culture; otherwise it can lead to situations like the Houston Rockets, with Kevin Porter and Christian Wood leaving a game during halftime! The New Orleans Pelicans are another young team that could use this sort of veteran leadership, with young guys like Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
In addition, now that the Pacers have fully committed to a rebuild, it’s wise for them to obtain as many draft picks as possible (especially during this year, as the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft class is stacked); even if there are protections on the first-rounder. By trading away LeVert, they got back a solid point guard and a few draft picks, and while I feel like they could have gotten a little bit more elsewhere, this was a solid deal for them. I’m giving them a B+ for this trade.
What do you think of the Caris LeVert trade? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, don’t forget to follow the NBA Blog for all the latest basketball news, and as always, have an awesome day!