AKRON, Ohio — Small forward Caris LeVert will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the month, but perhaps not for long.
The Cavs want LeVert to return and LeVert would like to be back in Cleveland. So both sides are off to a good start.
Now, as is always the case in these situations, it’s just a matter of the dollars making sense. The Cavs are confident that will happen, sources told Hoops Wire.
On top of that, LeVert has said he wants to be here.
Others are said to be interested, including the Wizards and Grizzlies, per sources. But rival teams will have their own business to handle before worrying about bringing in a player such as LeVert.
Anyone who has seen the Finals between the Nuggets and Heat can see there is a lot to be said for continuity. Bringing back LeVert will offer some of that to the Cavs. They would be hard-pressed to find anyone better for the money.
“I definitely want to be a part of this culture, be a part of this team,” LeVert told reporters after the season. “This is a super special group and I definitely want to be a part of that. But you all know it’s a business, so we’ll see what happens this summer. But I would love to come back.”
LeVert, who turns 29 in August, played more than just small forward for the Cavs. After the acquisition of Mitchell, he also had to play some point guard. His season was fairly up-and-down, compiling averages of 12.1 points, 3.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds, shooting 43 percent from the field and 39 percent on 3-pointers.
But he was one of the Cavs’ lone bright spots in the playoff series vs. the Knicks — increasing his scoring (15.0) and rebounding (4.6) in the five games.
Granted, LeVert began the season as the starting small forward, then lost the job to Isaac Okoro, then won it back in the playoffs. No one ever really took ahold of that role like the Cavs had hoped. But you need sixth men, or fifth men, and LeVert knows his teammates.
The Cavs can sign LeVert and still bring in upgrades — namely, a consistent perimeter shooter, a reserve big man and probably a backup point guard. With just weeks remaining ahead of free agency, all of that is what the Cavs intend to do.