We have another trade just 4 days away from the deadline! According to ESPN’s Adrian Worjnarowski, Caris LeVert has been sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 2022 2nd round pick via Miami Heat for Ricky Rubio, two 2nd round picks and a lottery protected 2022 1st round pick. To me, the Cavaliers got a steal. I thought to the get LeVert they would have to give up a young asset since the Pacers have clearly stated that they didn’t want picks. So, considering they only have to give away a 1st round pick that won’t be valuable since the Cavaliers are a top team is huge. I was shocked when I saw the trade. I did not think Cleveland would make a big move like this since they are succeeding with the team they already have. But, they didn’t have to give up anyone playing on their roster right now. Rubio is out with a knee injury. Below is a full breakdown of the trade and how this puts more pressure on teams to get offers in for Domantas Sabonis!
From a Cavaliers perspective, this gives them a very good scoring option. With Sexton out for the year, someone needs to be a top tier scorer. Darius Garland is a very talented scorer but I would rather have him as a playmaker. I think LeVert’s ability to get open and create his own shot will make Garland’s job easier and because of this, Garland will develop at a higher rate. Also, for next season, Collin Sexton could be traded if LeVert is playing at a high level. The one downside here is defense. However, Rubio wasn’t bringing any better defense either. I think a big part of this trade comes down to what they gave up. So, LeVert has his weaknesses like every player but his abilities are much more valuable than what Cleveland would have gotten with Rubio, the 2nd round picks and the 1st round pick. Because of this, LeVert will fit in well and help Garland develop. The Cavaliers have potential to win games at an even more consistent rate then they are now with LeVert on the roster. Great move by Koby Altman|Cavs GM!
The Pacers didn’t get as much value as the Cavs. Now, I also think this is what they were going to get. LeVert is a very talented scorer but he does have issues on defense and his overall ability. Now, he fits well with the Cavs since Cleveland is a well rounded team. But, assuming to get a young piece who has proven potential or good play should have not been the expectation. I do think they could have got someone better than Ricky Rubio. Don’t get me wrong, Rubio is a very caliber player. But, he is a 31 year old who has suffered an ACL tear. Expecting him to come back from that and play at that same level is definitely questionable. However, I don’t think Rubio will be in Indiana for long since he is an unrestricted free agent this summer. The 1st round pick is also not that valuable. Cleveland is one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and will not fall apart with LeVert either. At least, I don’t expect that to happen. So, this will be a late 1st round pick. And 2nd round picks are obviously important picks but not as valuable. Also, neither would any 1st round pick be valuable if they made a trade with a different team. The only teams that would want LeVert are contenders, teams that need that one more piece or that one more scorer. They were going to get the same valuable pick with other teams they could have realistically traded with. In recap, it might not seem like the Pacers got a lot but it’s what they were going to get!
I also think this trade just makes it more official that Domantas Sabonis is leaving. Indiana wouldn’t have traded their 19 point per game scorer for someone who won’t play this year and picks to try to win. This means they’re going into rebuild mode. So now, knowing Indiana is ready to make trades and get rid of their stars, what is the asking price for Sabonis. Sabonis is a more valuable player than LeVert. I think, a 1st round pick, a somewhat promising young talent and a big contract to make the cap space work is what you’re going to get for Sabonis. Maybe a little bit more. I also think teams that would want him would be a team with what they think is a #1 and need a #2 to make this player stay or give him some more help. I think the Wizards are the perfect team for the Pacers. The Wizards maybe shouldn’t do the deal but it is a big rumor right now for Sabonis to head to D.C. Let’s think about it. The Wizards have Bradley Beal and need to make him happy if they want him as their #1. They have 1st round picks and 2nd round picks for the future. They have young talents like Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant and have talented players that take up cap space like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and Davis Bertans. There is a possibility a team like the Wizards makes an offer quick since the Pacers made this deal and have officially committed to rebuilding!
To learn more about that, check out some Wiz Talk with Chase episodes coming up!
This is the 2nd big trade near the deadline along with the Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Clippers trade (check out my chasessportsnews.com article about that). This trade brings means more for contenders this season because of Cleveland’s great basketball this year. I think guys like Sabonis, Beal and more stars in this league could get flipped at the deadline. Yes, it’s not going to be Harden but it will still be very fun to break down even more trades. But this one alone is pretty crazy!
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