Cavaliers Rumors: Caris LeVert Preferred over Collin Sexton by Multiple People in CLE

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 29, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 15: Caris LeVert #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against the Atlanta Hawks during the 2022 Play-In Tournament on April 15, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

"Multiple people" inside the Cleveland Cavaliers organization reportedly prefer having Caris LeVert over Collin Sexton on the Cavs roster.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com dropped that report during an appearance on the Lowe Post Podcast (h/t Peter Dewey of Cavaliers Nation):

"There are multiple people inside the organization that if they have their choice between Caris and Collin, they would take Caris over Collin because of the size, because of the length, because of the versatility that he can bring on the defensive end of the floor. And they liked what they saw with Caris and Darius together. Obviously, the numbers back that up."

Sexton, who missed all but 11 games last year with a torn meniscus he suffered against the New York Knicks on Nov. 7, is a restricted free agent.

LeVert, who landed in Cleveland after the Indiana Pacers traded him on Feb. 7, has one year remaining on his contract.

They've both played in the backcourt alongside Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland, a breakout star who earned a five-year, $193 million extension after a 2021-22 All-Star campaign. Garland quickly became the centerpiece of the team's future, and now the Cavs will have to decide how to build around him.

LeVert averaged 13.6 points on 43.5 percent shooting, 3.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Cavs last year. He took more of an offensive backseat in Cleveland compared to Indiana, where he was asked to help carry the offense on a nightly basis. For the Pacers, LeVert averaged 18.7 points and 4.4 assists.

The Cavs can give LeVert a nine-figure extension on Aug. 7, per Evan Dammarell of Right Down Euclid:

Evan Dammarell @AmNotEvan

Note: it doesn't have to be that amount but that's the absolute most that Cleveland can offer LeVert in an extension.

Sexton was tremendous in 2020-21, averaging a career-high 24.3 points per game. His brief 2021-22 season saw his scoring figure dip to 16.0 points per game, although he played fewer minutes (35.3 MPG in 2020-21, 28.7 MPG in 2021-22).

As noted by RealGM, Sexton has a one-year, $7.2 million qualifying offer on the table from the Cavs. He can take that and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Or, he can take the reported three-year, $40 million deal that the Cavs have offered him, per Fedor, although he told ESPN's Zach Lowe that he doesn't think Sexton will go for it.

"The offer I reported, the three-year around $40 million, I don't get the sense Collin and his camp would take that," Fedor said in part.

"I don't think they would take a multi-year deal at that number. In fact, I think it would be more likely they would take the qualifying offer, go into unrestricted free agency next offseason..."

At any rate, the Cavs have some decisions to make. Garland is already going to stick around long-term. The same goes for All-Star center Jarrett Allen, who's entering the second season of a five-year, $100 million deal. Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley should stick around for a while too.

While it's conceivable that the Cavs have both Sexton and LeVert around next year, it doesn't appear as if that will be the case following the upcoming campaign. That leaves Cleveland with a choice to make, and it appears that the Cavs will try and keep LeVert around if the Fedor report is any indication.