Caris LeVert Aims To Sign Extension, Vows Cavs Will ‘See A Different Me’ Next Season

CLEVELAND — Things didn’t go so great for Caris LeVert after he was acquired by the Cavaliers in a February trade.Caris LeVert

It wasn’t awful by any means, but LeVert suffered an ankle injury shortly after he was landed from the Pacers as part of the Ricky Rubio trade. He then had to work his way back, adapting to new teammates and a new environment.

While LeVert showed flashes of the player he was with the Pacers, there were times he seemed out of sorts, clunky, not the player he hoped to become in Cleveland.

But he is hopeful an offseason and full training camp with the Cavs will change all that. For starters, LeVert hopes to sign a contract extension this summer.

“This is where I want to be,” he told reporters.

LeVert, 27, is 6-foot-6. As he showed with Indiana, he is capable of 40-point scoring outbursts. In fact, he scored 42 in his final game with the Pacers.

But things were a little different with the Cavs. In 19 appearances, LeVert averaged 13.6 points — his lowest since his second year in the league (2017-18).

Granted, that’s an awfully small sample size with the Cavs, and his ankle likely wasn’t 100 percent for a portion of it. He also correctly surmised that the loss to the Hawks in the play-in tournament, the final game of the year, marked his first with all of his teammates. 

The reason? Yeah, injuries. LeVert had played with Jarrett Allen before, just prior to the All-Star break. But the Cavs didn’t have Darius Garland in those games. Then LeVert went down. When he returned, Allen was out.

It’s hard for a newcomer to get into any sort of rhythm that way.

As for the contract, LeVert has one season left at about $18.8 million. That makes it a tradeable deal, for sure. Minus an extension, LeVert would be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023.

All of it is something the Cavs have to assess, as Collin Sexton will be an restricted free agent this summer. LeVert and Sexton primarily play the same position. Should the Cavs return mostly intact, as expected, only one of them will start next to Darius Garland in the backcourt.

But all of that can be determined in July, or later, and there’s no telling what may happen next. All we know is LeVert intends to be in Cleveland — and better than he was in a fairly complicated situation — next season.

“I know you’ll see a different me,” he said.

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