The Detroit Pistons are expected to make a run at impending restricted free agent Cam Johnson this offseason, but they have a backup plan in mind, and his name is Caris LeVert.
LeVert, who’s been with the Cavs for a season and some change, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
“Detroit is expected to target Cavaliers guard/forward Caris LeVert if they strike out on Johnson, sources told Hoops Wire,” wrote Sam Amico.
When the Cavs acquired LeVert in February of 2022, there was a lot of optimism about what he’d bring to the table. While his stint with Cleveland hasn’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination, it has certainly been a bit inconsistent.
The 28-year-old has seen playing time at multiple positions and bounced around from the starting lineup to the bench. Overall, his production has been serviceable, but it has rarely been massive.
Across 93 regular season games with the Cavs, the former first-round pick has averaged 12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from deep.
He did have a solid showing in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Although many Cavs players had a series to forget against the New York Knicks, LeVert was able to average 15.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest.
LeVert has said that there’s mutual interest between him and the Cavs when it comes to getting a new deal done this offseason. If the price is right, it could make a lot of sense for Cleveland to bring him back and perhaps give him a more consistent role so he can find his footing.
Detroit’s pursuit of Johnson will be worth keeping an eye on for Cavs fans due to the implications it may have on LeVert’s future.
Johnson spent time with two teams in the 2022-23 season. Overall, he averaged 15.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from beyond the arc. He’s 27 years old, a year younger than LeVert.
The Cavs have some work to do this offseason after their first-round exit against the Knicks. Cleveland has plenty of talent in place but may need to touch up its roster around the edges in order to take the next step.