Report: Caris LeVert turned down more lucrative and longer deals to stay with Cavs

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The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to re-sign Caris LeVert while also adding several key players this offseason despite the fact they all reportedly had other offers.

Max Strus, Georges Niang and Ty Jerome are arriving to team up with LeVert and the rest of the existing Cavaliers, an indication that the improving franchise has become a popular NBA destination.

“Still, each player had the choice to go elsewhere,” wrote Chris Fedor of “Sources say LeVert was looking at offers for more money and years. Strus was one of the top unrestricted free agent wings and teams with cap space were circling. Niang and Jerome, who turned down Cleveland’s two-way offer at the start of last offseason, had other suitors as well.”

LeVert was always considered an important piece to retain, and Strus reportedly was Cleveland’s top target this offseason, leading to a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat that landed him a four-year, $63 million contract. Niang got a three-year, $26 million deal after playing last season for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Jerome garnered a two-year deal worth $5 million in leaving the Golden State Warriors.

They will be counted on to support Cleveland’s talented core of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, who were the driving forces behind a 51-win regular season that resulted in the Cavs’ first playoff appearance since 2018.

It did not end well with a five-game loss to the lower-seeded New York Knicks in the first round, which sent Cleveland into the offseason searching for offense that hopefully has been found in Strus and Niang in particular.

LeVert also can contribute to the attack, having averaged 18.5 points per game in the three seasons before last season. The 28-year-old reportedly drew interest from the Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies and Detroit Pistons.

The Cavs did trade Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens to the San Antonio Spurs in the deal to get Strus, but they also got Damian Jones in a trade with the Utah Jazz, so their overall depth seems to be sufficient.

Fedor pointed out that LeVert and Mitchell share the same agent and that the Cavaliers’ franchise player also has ties to Niang, Jerome and rookie Emoni Bates. That all could bode well for the team’s chemistry and Mitchell’s long-term future in Cleveland.

The 26-year-old is now eligible for a maximum contract extension, which could go a long way toward silencing the idea that he will eventually play for the New York Knicks, who reportedly remain interested in him.

So perhaps Mitchell believes Cleveland is the place to be like several of his new teammates already do.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.