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Cavaliers Rumors: Caris LeVert Never Had 'True' Contract Extension Talks in Offseason

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2023

CLEVELAND, OHIO - JANUARY 02: Caris LeVert #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots during the second quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on January 02, 2023 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. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

While the Cleveland Cavaliers gave up Ricky Rubio and multiple draft picks, including a lottery-protected 2022 first-rounder, to acquire Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers last season, his long-term future with the team is somewhat in doubt.

LeVert is scheduled for free agency during the upcoming offseason, and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported he and the Cavaliers "never had true extension conversations this summer, sources said, after injury limited his availability to just 19 games following last February's trade."

That uncertainty could make LeVert a trade candidate ahead of the February deadline, but even that route could come with some hesitation.

For one, the Cavaliers are contenders in the Eastern Conference at 25-14. While LeVert may not be as important with Donovan Mitchell on this season's team, he is still a valuable secondary scorer who can provide instant offense from the wing.

Fischer also noted "the Cavaliers value his high-character presence in the locker room" and understand they would not be able to recoup the same type of value they sent the Pacers in last season's trade.

For his part, the University of Michigan product is averaging 12.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 40.1 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from deep this season.

Those are solid numbers but a step back from when he posted a career-best 20.2 points per game in 2020-21 for the Brooklyn Nets and Pacers.

Perhaps Cleveland will look to keep him in the fold with contract discussions down the line considering he is 28 years old and in his prime. Yet he is somewhat overshadowed on this roster, with Mitchell and Darius Garland doing much of the ball-handling and frontcourt options Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen also heavily involved in the attack.

It could also attempt to package him in a deal for a defense-first player who would be better suited to playing alongside Mitchell as the Cavaliers aim for a deep playoff run in the Eastern Conference.

The various options make LeVert a player to watch as roster moves are made among the Eastern Conference challengers.