Can Caris LeVert Be Cavs’ Missing Piece For Title Race?

Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Who would have thought that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be in the same sentence with the word ‘championship’ this NBA season?

It has been three days since the Cavs made a big trade to acquire Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers and all of a sudden, the two have been linked.

Cleveland is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference. They have been near the top of the standings for the duration of the season and do not seem to be fading. This was the question early on but theCleveland Cavaliers look like they are here to stay, especially with the acquisition of LeVert.

LeVert was sent to Cleveland with a 2022 second-round pick of the Miami Heat. The Pacers received Ricky Rubio, who is on an expiring contract, a lottery-protected first-round pick this year, and two second-rounders.

Since returning from injury, LeVert has returned to being a strong scorer. Despite being a bit inconsistent at times this season, he is still scoring 18.7 points per game. The Cavaliers could use that offensive production from a player who could go get a bucket at any time throughout a game.

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TheCleveland Cavaliers have won seven of their last 10 games and are just 1.5 games behind the first-place Miami Heat. Cleveland is winning with defense. They continue to be one of the strongest units in the league led by Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen down low. The two seven-footers have helped the Cavs maintain a top-three defensive rating in the NBA.

They say that defense wins championships but that was not meant for the NBA. Teams need to be able to outscore opponents at times and that is why LeVert was brought in. Rubio is now gone after suffering a season-ending knee injury and Collin Sexton will miss the remainder of the season as well. Right now, the Cavs’ offensive rating is around 109, which is in the bottom half of the league.

Darius Garland has stepped up in Sexton’s absence and has been named a reserve for the All-Star Game. He is averaging 19.8 points and 8.2 assists per game this season. Allen and Mobley have held it down in the frontcourt while Isaac Okoro continues to improve over the course of his second season. With Garland running the show from the top of the offense, LeVert will have plenty of room to maneuver and score the ball. This will take the offense for Cleveland to the next level.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: NBA Trade Grades: Reviewing Cavs-Pacers Trade Featuring Caris LeVert

Garland is an elite passer and can set up his teammates in a position to score. In addition to that, he was relied upon as the primary option to score the ball. He has excelled but the addition ofCaris LeVert will take some pressure off. Also, LeVert has the ability to create his own shot at all three levels.

This is good news for a team that is already 12 games over .500 and within reach of the top spot in the Eastern Conference. It is time to start taking the Cavs seriously, especially after this trade. If the Cavs were not thought to come out of the Eastern Conference, they should be after making this deal.