The Cleveland Cavaliers ended their 2022-23 season with a whimper, but they are still an attractive destination. At least as far as Caris LeVert is concerned. The veteran wing signed a two-year, $32 million contract in the first couple of days of NBA free agency to remain with the Cavs. There were apparently more lucrative offers on the table, however.
“Sources say LeVert was looking at offers for more money and years,” Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor reported Friday night.
Obviously Joakim Noah was wrong. Cleveland is a desirable destination for high-quality role players like LeVert and Max Strus, who the Cavaliers landed in a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat. A promising core headed by star Donovan Mitchell, a capable head coach in J.B. Bickerstaff and an Eastern Conference that can be unpredictable year to year makes this franchise a suitable place for available talent to find success.
The Cavs still have to put it all together, though. Being ousted in five games by the New York Knicks in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs was eye-opening and demanded swift action from the organization. Another blockbuster trade was not in the cards, but boosting the supporting cast was paramount.
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Newly signed Georges Niang shoots over 40 percent from 3-point range, and Strus is also a capable sniper. That is a big need Cleveland has to address if it is going to take that next step up the Eastern Conference hierarchy. Retaining Caris LeVert, though, is the highlight of the Cavs’ offseason so far.
While he can sometimes exercise poor shot selection, the 28-year-old settled nicely into a sixth man role and significantly raised his percentage from distance. He plays solid defense and is an underrated facilitator. Most of all, though, LeVert wants to be here. That factor cannot be taken for granted when assessing this team’s outlook for next season.