They have a little bit of work to do this offseason in order to keep taking additional steps forward, and it starts with deciding what to do with Caris LeVert. He will be a free agent, and he is reportedly expected to stay in Cleveland on a new contract.
“The Cavs want LeVert to return and LeVert would like to be back in Cleveland,” wrote Sam Amico of Hoops Wire. “So both sides are off to a good start.
“Now, as is always the case in these situations, it’s just a matter of the dollars making sense. The Cavs are confident that will happen, sources told Hoops Wire.
“On top of that, LeVert has said he wants to be here.
“Others are said to be interested, including the [Washington] Wizards and [Memphis] Grizzlies, per sources. But rival teams will have their own business to handle before worrying about bringing in a player such as LeVert.”
LeVert had an inconsistent season for the Cavs. He struggled mightily early in the season with his shooting, did well in January, then slumped again before finishing the season strong.
He ended up starting 30 regular season games and three of Cleveland’s five playoff games as head coach J.B. Bickerstaff searched for a starting lineup that would consistently get the job done.
It has one of the NBA’s best backcourts in Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, as well as a promising frontcourt in Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen that defends at a high level. But the wing spot has been a weakness for the Cavs.
LeVert isn’t the world’s greatest defender, nor is he a consistently reliable shooter, but he is often a capable player.
Bickerstaff also tried Isaac Okoro and even Lamar Stevens at the starting small forward spot, and although Okoro played well at times, he isn’t the creator that LeVert is.
Another need Cleveland has is more beef up front. The Knicks and their robust frontline of Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson exposed the Cavs’ lack of toughness in the paint and decisively outrebounded them in the playoffs.
Perhaps a grizzled veteran or two at power forward and/or center, as well as more consistency from LeVert, could get the Cavs to the Eastern Conference Finals next season.