The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly are picking up forward Lamar Stevens’ team option for the 2023-24 season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 23, 2023
It’s a solid move for the Cavs, especially since Stevens will have a low salary of just $1.9 million. By bringing him back, Cleveland has a little more wing depth ahead of free agency this offseason.
Stevens appeared in 62 games for the Cavs during the 2022-23 season, making 25 starts. He’s spent the first three seasons of his career with Cleveland and averaged 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the field.
While Stevens fell behind Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman, Caris LeVert and even Danny Green in Cleveland’s playoff rotation, he did end up playing in two games against the New York Knicks, averaging 4.5 minutes per game.
Keeping Stevens under contract gives the Cavs some flexibility as they attempt to upgrade the wing spot this offseason.
With LeVert set to hit free agency, Cleveland may need Stevens to step up into a slightly bigger role in the 2023-24 season if the University of Michigan product leaves. The Cavs also added some competition on the wing in the 2023 NBA Draft.
The Cavs selected Emoni Bates out of Eastern Michigan University in the second round.
Cleveland could also consider using Stevens in a trade now that he’s back under contract for next season. Had the team declined his option, Stevens would have become a free agent.
In his three seasons with the Cavs, Stevens has seen his minutes per game increase each season. In the 2022-23 campaign, he ended up playing 18.1 minutes per game while posting a career-high 3.3 rebounds per game.
The Cavs don’t need Stevens to be a star, but it’s important for any team – especially one with playoff aspirations like the Cavs – to have depth across the roster. Stevens has shown he can step in and play bigger minutes when needed, starting 38 games over the last two seasons.
While keeping Stevens is a good start, the Cavs have a lot more work to do to improve their roster ahead of the 2023-24 campaign. The team is hoping to be even better than it was in the 2022-23 season when it earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.