The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to gauge the trade market for Caris LeVert and the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be a team entering the mix for the talented guard.
LeVert has bounced in and out of the Cavs starting lineup but it’s become evident his skill set isn’t quite what Cleveland needs following the addition of Donovan Mitchell this offseason. The Cavaliers have been in the market for a solid two-way wing and LeVert — who is on an expiring $18.79 million deal — is their best asset to make something happen.
The Lakers reported interest in LeVert sounds like it’s being generated by LeBron James’ admiration of the Cavs guard, per Sam Amico of Hoops.
“So far everyone from the Pistons to the [Charlotte] Hornets to [Los Angeles] Clippers and [Utah] Jazz has expressed an interest in LeVert,” Sam Amico of Hoops Wire reported. “And yes, even the Lakers have kicked around the idea of a LeVert trade in their scanning of rival rosters in their search for more help, sources told Hoops Wire. (In fact, it’s been said that LeVert is a favorite of LeBron James.)”
Return From Lakers for LeVert Could Be Underwhelming
There’s no doubt LeVert would provide a spark for the Lakers, who are currently trying to climb the packed standings in the Western Conference after a miserable start to the year.
But the question becomes what the Cavs could get back from the Lakers in a trade to make it worthwhile. Veteran guard Patrick Beverley could serve as some salary filler and Lonnie Walker IV would probably be the most impactful, realistic return as far as a player the Cavs could hope to get back.
LA also has two coveted first-round picks in their back pocket, but with LeVert set to hit free agency next season, it’d likely be hard to convince the Lakers to give up that kind of asset.
Cavs Not Set on Trading LeVert if Price Isn’t Right
While LeVert isn’t the perfect fit for the Cavs right now, he’s also not a terrible piece to keep around if the team doesn’t feel like they can get the proper return. He’s averaged 12.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 41.1% from the field and 36.7% from beyond the arc.
“But right now, decent offers for LeVert don’t seem to be out there. And the Cavs are far from determined to trade him, sources said,” Amico reported. “In fact, they like the team as it’s constructed, and are willing to let it gel and work on upgrades during the offseason.”
That being said, he’s widely viewed as the best chip the Cavs have if they want to improve their roster, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
“I’ve talked to a few different people around the NBA, and they believe that Caris LeVert is the best asset that the Cavs have in terms of a trade because he can help teams right now,” Fedor said recently on The Wine & Gold Talk Podcast. “And he can also help their salary because he’s an expiring contract. And beyond that, his salary number matches a lot of guys that are perceived to be available around the NBA.”
The NBA trade deadline is February 9, so we’ll see if the Cavs — who are 3-5 over their last eight games — decide to make a move.