Trade Grade: Indiana Pacers Trade Caris LeVert to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Indiana's Caris LeVert surveys the court in Oklahoma City.
Image Credit: (James Boyd/IndyStar)

The NBA Trade Deadline is on February 10th, 2022 and I expect many transactions to occur especially trades. Well we already got one of them and it involves both the Indiana Pacers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Trade involves Caris LeVert and you can see the details of this trade underneath.

Indiana Pacers acquire: PG Ricky Rubio, a 2022 first round pick that is lottery protected, a 2022 second round pick (Houston Rockets), a 2027 second round pick (Utah Jazz)
Cleveland Cavaliers acquire: SF/SG Caris LeVert and a 2022 Second round pick (Chicago Bulls)

Indiana Pacers Side
This season for the Indiana Pacers is petty much done and they have been entering a rebuild. I like Caris LeVert but it was an interesting move they made trading Victor Oladipo to the Rockets for Caris LeVert. Ever since the Pacers got Caris LeVert he has never been a good fit on their system. He was just there for the Indiana Pacers and it was clear that he was not going to be a part of the Pacers for the long term. It is better to get some value for him and they did that with this trade. They got extra draft capital to help either build the team or make trades for other players. I can safely say that the first round pick will transfer for the 2022 NBA draft as the Cavaliers should make the playoffs this year. The second round picks are throw ins that are mainly lottery tickets or can be used in future trades. I like Ricky Rubio but he was mainly traded due to salary reasons. I doubt Rubio ever plays a game for the Pacers as he is out for the season due to his knee injury and his contract is expiring. The best part of trading Caris LeVert is it clears around 19 million dollars in their salary cap which is a big benefit for signing players in free agency.


Cleveland Cavaliers Side
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers have a really strong defense especially with how well Jarrett Allen has been playing plus rookie Evan Mobley has developed well and become a piece to this defense. But the Cavaliers are missing something on offense. They have been missing Colin Sexton as he is out for the season due to a Torn Meniscus in his knee which he had season ending surgery. Caris LeVert can be that replacement and be the missing piece that the Cavaliers need to have a deep playoff push. The Cavs need to improve on their offense if they want to do well in the playoffs. The cost to get him low as all they sacrificed was Ricky Rubio who was not coming back this season due to his injuries and they did not sacrifice a ton of draft capital. It is likely the 1st round pick they gave up will be for this year as it is lottery protected and it looks like the Cavaliers will make the playoffs unless they go in a slump. So it is worth the risk in making this trade.

Grades for Caris LeVert Trade
Indiana Pacers: B+
Cleveland Cavaliers: B

This is a win-win trade for both teams but I have to give slight edge to the Indiana Pacers for this trade. Especially as LeVert was not a fit with Rick Carlisle system, they get salary relief, draft picks to help build the team, and got some value for LeVert. For the Cavaliers this was a move to help bolster their team for when the playoffs come. Overall great move by both teams here and hopefully it pays off for both teams.

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