Could the Cleveland Cavaliers send Caris LeVert to the Los Angeles Lakers? This possibility was proposed in a mock trade appearing on NBA Analysis Network.
The deal would have the Cavs trading LeVert and second-round picks in 2024 and 2025 to the Lakers. Coming back to Cleveland would be Rui Hachimura. The focus, in the eyes of the author, is to improve their wing situation.
“What the Cavaliers need is 3-and-D wings. They could afford to sacrifice some of LeVert’s shot creation to add some defense on the wings. Is that what they’re doing here? It’s debatable. Hachimura isn’t a lockdown defender. With that said, he’s solid, and he’s got the athletic profile to improve.”
This is a significantly better proposal for the Cavs than the previously suggested deal involving Jarrett Allen. While the logic of moving Evan Mobley to the center position is valid, adding Hachimura without trading any other guards or forwards would not make much sense. Other deals would be required to make that version of the roster fit.
It is mentioned that the Cavs do not necessarily need the shot-creation that Caris LeVert provides. The primary options in that aspect are Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, and that is not expected to change any time soon. While this is true, the unknown status of Ricky Rubio at this time makes things a bit murky. Should Rubio extend his period of stepping away from basketball into the regular season, they will need someone to be the primary ballhandler off the bench. LeVert is more than capable of doing that over short stretches.
Is this a deal the Cavs should consider if offered? Yes. But only under the provision that they have someone on their roster capable of keeping the offense going while Garland and Mitchell get some rest. It could be Rubio or someone else entirely. Getting a clearer picture in that regard would make a hypothetical trade involving LeVert a bit more feasible.