The Cavaliers have gone from surprising contenders to serious ones.
Making a major move ahead of this week’s NBA trade deadline, Cleveland added another young star to its roster by agreeing in principle to acquire guard Caris LeVert as part of a deal with Indiana.
The Cavs are sending Ricky Rubio and his expiring $17.8 million contract, a 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick and two second-round picks to the Pacers for LeVert, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. the job.
Cleveland will also get a second-round pick in 2022, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams have not yet participated in the required conference call with the league for approval.
- Caris The Green
- 2022 second-round pick (via Miami)
- Ricky Rubio
- 2022 First-Round Pick (Lottery Protected)
- 2022 second-round pick (via Houston)
- 2027 second-round pick (via Utah)
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the trade on Sunday afternoon.
Full trade: Indiana sends Caris LeVert and a 2022 second-round pick via Miami to Cleveland for Ricky Rubio, a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick via Houston and a second-round pick of 2027 via Utah, according to the sources.
— Adrien Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2022
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle confirmed the proposed deal shortly before the teams played at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
“Cleveland just signed a hell of a player,” Carlisle said.
The Cavs, who won just 22 games last season, have moved into playoff position and believe they can win the Eastern Conference title. They aggressively sought more backcourt help after losing guards Collin Sexton and Ricky Rubio to season-ending injuries.
LeVert should more than help you. The 27-year-old is averaging 18.7 points and 4.4 assists for the disappointing Pacers, who are between the ages of 19 and 35 and are already thinking about their future.
LeVert scored 42 on Friday against Chicago.
“Cleveland is in a great position, and adding a guy like Caris LeVert could very well push them to the top,” Carlisle said in his pregame press conference, which was delayed slightly when the news of the exchange broke.
“Caris has been a great young man to work with here,” Carlisle said. “He is a very special person and a very special player. He is a first class human being, a first class professional and a great player. I will miss him.
The league’s trading deadline is Thursday, and it’s not out of the question that the Cavs and Pacers could each make another move. In the short term, the LeVert deal is a potential season-changer for Cleveland.
The Cavs entered Sunday just 1 1/2 games behind the Bulls for first place in the East. It was a stunning rise for a young Cleveland team that wasn’t expected to do much this season but overcame injuries and grew rapidly.
LeVert will likely slide into the starting backcourt alongside All-Star Darius Garland, who has been slowed by back pain recently. After losing Rubio to a season-ending knee injury, the Cavs acquired veteran Rajon Rondo but still had their sights set on LeVert, a proven scorer and playmaker.
While he’s been the subject of trade rumors for weeks, LeVert arrived for Sunday’s game unaware that he would soon be changing his jersey, taking a huge jump in the standings and likely heading to the playoffs.
“We have a unique understanding here with our front office and our players, where if a deal is getting closer, we’ll talk to the player so they don’t see it on social media or anywhere else,” Carlisle said. “We did it with Caris in my office and (general manager) Chad (Buchanan) on speakerphone with us.”
In Cleveland, LeVert will reunite with former Brooklyn teammate Jarrett Allen, who has become one of the league’s best young centers since being acquired in the deal that sent Houston’s James Harden to the Nets. LeVert was also part of this trade.