NBA Rumors: Caris LeVert Trade Talks 'Ramping Up' Between Pacers and Interested Teams

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2022

Indiana Pacers' Caris LeVert dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

The Indiana Pacers are reportedly "ramping up" trade talks for guard Caris LeVert as they seemingly pivot into rebuilding mode.

Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported the Cleveland Cavaliers are among the teams expected to express interest.

The Cavs are looking to bolster their backcourt depth after losing Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton to injuries. They've already traded for Rajon Rondo, but the veteran is more of a stopgap than an effective rotation player at this point of his career.

The Pacers acquired LeVert last January as part of a four-team trade that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. Team doctors discovered a small cancerous mass in LeVert's left kidney as part of his trade physical, costing him two months of action. LeVert returned to play 35 games with the Pacers last season and has remained largely healthy in 2021-22, averaging 17.8 points, 4.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds.

While he hasn't developed into an All-Star-caliber layer, LeVert is an effective scorer who can fit in any lineup off the bench or as part of a reserve unit. He's also playing at a $17.5 million base salary this season that is about the going rate for someone of his skill set and is only under contract through 2022-23.

It's likely a team would give up a protected first-round pick and a non-elite young player as part of a trade package for LeVert ahead of the trade deadline.