Fourth-year wing Caris LeVert could be on the trading block for the Brooklyn Nets as the Eastern Conference up-and-comer seeks to pair All-Star duo Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving with a third star in the near future. LeVert, a 24-year-old swingman from the University of Michigan, was selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers and sent over to the Nets the same summer, developing from a bench wing to a valuable role player for Brooklyn.
According to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, LeVert’s name has come up for Nets general manager Sean Marks when discussing the possibility of trading the former Wolverine and more for an available star.
Because LeVert on his own will unlikely yield a star to come to Brooklyn, the Nets could target a third team in a deal, pawning the former first-round pick to another team to help facilitate a trade. Should the Nets decide to make room for another star by loosing LeVert on another franchise, here a few choice destinations for him.
New York Knicks
The Nets’ crosstown rival New York Knicks are in a difficult spot in their rebuild. They have a few young pieces that work (RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson), but 2018 first-round pick Kevin Knox hasn’t delivered yet, and they will likely select another point guard in the 2020 draft. Provided that, the Knicks could look for help on the wing this offseason and pick up LeVert while the Nets organize a trade searching for another star.
Caris LeVert was averaging a career-best 17.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game during the 2019-20 season before it was cut short. He appeared in 39 games, playing just shy of 30 minutes a night and starting in 25 of those contests. It’s clear that as talented as LeVert is, his role is strange next to Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, and sharpshooting swingman Joe Harris, the latter of whom needs to be paid in free agency this summer.
LeVert could be a great secondary playmaker for the Knicks as they look to upgrade the wing.
After the Andre Iguodala trade was finally sealed, the Memphis Grizzlies also had to send reliable wings Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill to the Miami Heat, although they did receive Justise Winslow. Should the Grizzlies replicate LeVert’s role on the Nets, they could see the fourth-year swingman turn into a super-sub for the fringe playoff team, coming off the bench for Winslow or sharpshooter Dillon Brooks.
Caris LeVert would be a formidable playmaker for the second unit on the Grizzlies while Rookie of the Year front-runner Ja Morant takes a break, or fit alongside him and power forward Brandon Clarke, making Memphis one of the most flexible, young teams in the league.
Portland Trail Blazers
This here would be the only instance where a trade involving Caris LeVert would directly involve prying a star to join Durant, Irving and the Nets, with the Damian Lillard–CJ McCollum backcourt finally heading to a break-up. If you consider McCollum a star — and there’s a reasonable argument that he’s not, in spite of averaging over 20.0 points a night — the Nets would reason to benefit from adding the erstwhile journalist while the Blazers finally reckon with changing up the team around Lillard.