East Notes: Cavs, Caris LeVert, Pacers, Raptors


Cavs small forward Caris LeVert was wearing the same color practice jersey as starters guards Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell and forward Evan Mobley, as relayed by Danny Cunningham of ESPN Cleveland.

Small forward Isaac Okoro was wearing a different practice jersey, Cunningham reported. So perhaps this means LeVert has won the starting small forward job.

While Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff has remained tight-lipped about the starting lineup, several members of the organization have told Hoops Wire they believe the job is LeVert’s to lose. Two teammates told Hoops Wire the same back on media day.

Either way, Okoro is looking to improve his perimeter game, he told Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I just knew it was something I had to work on. Everybody could see it. I know I’m not a perfect player. Everybody has flaws,” he said, via Fedor. “I’ve been working on addressing those flaws. Each year I feel like I have been getting better at shooting. We’ve been tracking it since I was drafted. I see the numbers. I see where I’m at now. It’s night and day. My arc is consistently higher. I always knew it was going to pay off sooner or later.”

  • After missing most of the preseason with a small knee issue, power forward Kevin Love is expected to be a full go for the season-opener, Bickerstaff told reporters.
  • In case you missed it, the Cavs signed center/forward Mamadi Diakite to a two-way contract after waiving him over the weekend. You can check out that full post here.
  • Finally, one rival scout wondered whether the Garland-Mitchell backcourt will work. He also offered several other takes on the Cavs. You can check out that full post here.



Raptors forward and Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes seems primed to keep a good thing going, said fellow forward Thaddeus Young, via Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca.

“Scottie’s an amazing basketball player and I don’t even think he knows it,” Young said, via Lewenberg. “He’s so young and he’s just scratching the surface.”

  • Forward Pascal Siakam was among the 2019 first-round draft picks who did not agree to an extension ahead of Monday’s deadline, per Lewenberg. So it appears Siakam is betting on himself to land a larger payday than the extension would have offered, Lewenberg noted.

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