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Why Caris LeVert’s 3-year extension with Nets surprised NBA executives

NBA executives expected Caris LeVert to sign a more lucrative extension with the Brooklyn Nets this summer, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.

LeVert signed a three-year, $52 million extension with the Nets in August.

They could have two first-rounders in the 2020 draft. They just signed Caris LeVert to a three-year, $52 million extension that came in lower than most executives expected. If he improves, LeVert on that deal is a trade asset.

LeVert’s contract could instead lead the Nets toward the “Big Two and depth” direction. Most teams default to stars because their depth becomes too expensive. If you have to pay LeVert like a star, you might as well trade him — and lots of other stuff — for an actual star. The Nets, it turns out, are not quite paying LeVert like a star.

Last season for the Nets, Caris LeVert averaged 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 40 games. He suffered a dislocated right foot in November against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he didn’t need surgery and was able to return to the floor.

LeVert showed he was completely back from the injury in the 2019 postseason. The youngster put up a team-high 21.0 points per game in the Brooklyn’s five-game playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets signed Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan this summer. Brooklyn will need LeVert to be its second or third leading scorer since Durant will likely miss the entire 2019-20 season recovering from his Achilles tear.