The Cleveland Cavaliers have been desperately seeking guard help ever since Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton went down with season-ending injuries. They acquired Rajon Rondo from the Los Angeles Lakers almost immediately following Rubio’s injury, but at this point in his career, he’s really not suited for a major role anymore. That has forced Cleveland to look elsewhere, and fortunately, there’s a target available that they’ve gotten to know quite well over the past year. After all, he’s in their division.
The Cavs are interested in trading for Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert, according to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon. LeVert is averaging 18.7 points per game this season, but his limitations as a shooter and a defender make him an unusual fit on most contenders. He is best-suited to playing with the ball in his hands. Few winning teams would rather give it to him than their incumbent point guards.
Unsurprisingly, that has limited LeVert’s market based on the price Indiana has set for him. The Pacers reportedly want two first-round picks in a LeVert deal. They’re extremely unlikely to get that for a 27-year-old non-star who doesn’t do the things that role players traditionally do. He is, therefore, best-suited to be a high-usage secondary ball-handler, perhaps coming off of the bench as a sixth man. That isn’t the sort of player that most teams prioritize.
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But Cleveland, desperate for any guard help whatsoever, might be the exception. They badly need another ball-handler for the minutes Darius Garland spends on the bench. Ideally, that would have been a job reserved for Sexton, but with him being injured, LeVert could slide into that role for the long haul and knock Sexton, a restricted free agent at season’s end, out of Cleveland’s long-term plans.
Even if he doesn’t, Cleveland is very well-positioned to make an in-season move like this. The Cavs control all of their own first-round picks, and Rubio’s expiring contract is easy matching salary for a trade. With no other major suitors emerging for LeVert, Cleveland should be able to strike a deal if it is motivated enough.