The Cleveland Cavaliers made a leap forward in 2022-23, earning the 4-seed in the East after a terrific regular season. In the playoffs, though, they had issues fielding a five-man lineup that could both score and defend, resulting in a five-game loss to the Knicks that laid bare the issues the Cavs had to address this summer.
Cleveland struggled with who to slot into the small forward spot between Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell, and Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Caris LeVert was among those options, providing more floor spacing than Isaac Okoro, but without the ability to be the type of on-ball defender they needed against Jalen Brunson. As such, the Cavs were expected to seek wing upgrades in free agency, but LeVert remained a priority, entering free agency coming off the best shooting season of his career, averaging 12.1 points per game and knocking down 39.2 percent of his attempts from three, bouncing back from a down year from three in 2021-22.
LeVert returning to the Cavs was among the first deals announced shortly after free agency opened, with Adrian Wojnarowski reporting he was signing back on a 2-year, $32 million deal.
Cleveland Cavaliers G Caris LeVert has agreed on a new two-year, $32 million contract, co-head of @CAA_Basketball Austin Brown tells ESPN. LeVert had career highs on three-pointers (127) and makes (39 percent) last season. pic.twitter.com/gercF8u3pq
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2023
Bringing LeVert back keeps the Cavs from taking a step back, but there are still rumblings they will be adding more wing players as free agency continues.