How can Cleveland Cavaliers clear up the logjam at guard? What about a Caris LeVert extension? Hey Chris!

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Hey Chris: Is there any traction on a Caris LeVert extension? — Anthony, Stow

Hey, Anthony: Not actually. Much of Cleveland’s offseason has been intertwined. After finalizing Darius Garland’s large contract extension, bringing in a pair of level guards (Ricky Rubio and Raul Neto) and including a burly backup heart (Robin Lopez), the Cavs have prioritized the Collin Sexton negotiations. Those stay at a standstill.

The subsequent steps movement from what occurs with Sexton. That consists of any LeVert extension discussions.

The two play the similar place. They have a comparable skillset. LeVert was acquired at the deadline as a short-term harm substitute, offering a little little bit of playmaking in Rubio’s absence and bringing that aggressive, attack-the-rim scoring the workforce missed due to Sexton’s season-ending meniscus tear. Still, due to LeVert’s age and contract scenario, there have been additionally ideas about him being a long-term participant if he appeared like a high quality match alongside Cleveland’s budding core. The Cavs did not actually get a likelihood at a full-fledged analysis.

Contract extensions have to be earned. No matter the quite a few uncontrollable components tied into LeVert’s struggles over the closing few months — adjusting to a new workforce and position, submit All-Star break foot harm that lingered, not having his anticipated pick-and-roll companion (Jarrett Allen) and solely enjoying 24 complete minutes alongside Garland, Allen, Lauri Markkanen and Evan Mobley — it is onerous to make a definitive case for LeVert deserving a new deal.

If Sexton and the Cavs can ultimately agree on a multi-year contract — cleveland.com has reported Sexton has been provided a three-year deal price round $40 million — there’s much less urgency relating to a long-term LeVert extension. If Sexton chooses to play on the $7.2 million qualifying supply, turning into an unrestricted free agent subsequent summer time when about half of the league is projected to have cap house, then maybe the LeVert talks ramp up.

There is definitely a situation the place each score-first guards hit free company in 2023.

Hey Chris: How can Cavs discover sufficient minutes for all their guards? — William, Pepper Pike

Hey, William: The scenario is just like final yr, when the Cavs had a glut of playable forwards. There had been 96 complete minutes obtainable at the 4/5 for veteran Kevin Love, Allen, Mobley, and newly acquired Markkanen. All of them deserved enjoying time. They had been 4 of the workforce’s prime 8 rotation gamers. Recognizing the logjam, coach JB Bickerstaff received artistic, ultimately making the unconventional resolution to play — and begin — Markkanen at small ahead. It led to a distinctive, tall-ball defensive-minded lineup that performed a crucial position in the workforce’s shocking begin.

Bickerstaff can have his work lower out for him as soon as once more — if Sexton returns. But it is a good downside to have.

Garland. Sexton (probably). LeVert. Rubio Neto Isaac Okoro Ochai Agbaji The first query is how a lot Rubio will play this coming season. He remains to be recovering from a torn ACL, and whereas there isn’t any particular timeline, it sometimes takes about 12 months. If all continues to progress properly, that places him on monitor to return in late December — at the earliest. January appears extra real looking. So, let’s take Rubio out of this dialogue. At least quickly.

The subsequent query is what number of of these guards can shift over to the 3, serving as Markkanen’s backup. Okoro, LeVert and Agbaji may all be candidates, permitting Bickerstaff to steal minutes at a totally different place.

Last season, Garland averaged 35.7 minutes. Given its significance, there’s little motive to count on that quantity to tick down. We will put him at 36.

There’s loads of time earlier than the season begins, however LeVert needs to be thought-about the probably starter subsequent to Garland. In 394 minutes collectively, the Garland-LeVert backcourt had a constructive web ranking (2.4). Even although it was a smaller pattern measurement — with Sexton adjusting to a totally different off-the-ball position — the diminutive pairing affectionately often called “SexLand” had a damaging web ranking (-6.3). Last offseason, Bickerstaff had already thought-about splitting them up, nearly choosing rugged Okoro as the Opening Night beginning taking pictures guard.

Let’s pencil in LeVert for round half-hour. That’s 66 of the 96.

In the early a part of the season, the different 30 would have to be break up between Sexton, Okoro, Agbaji and Neto. It’s additionally attainable the Cavs use Sexton as a de facto second-unit level guard. Neto’s projected enjoying time would reduce if Sexton can deal with that position as a playmaking sixth man.

Hey Chris: Will Cedi Osman be on the roster at the begin of the season? Does he have a position on this workforce? — Howard, Lyndhurst

Hey Howard: I’ve my doubts. Not solely did it turn out to be clear at the finish of the season that Bickerstaff was shedding belief in Osman, but in addition protecting Sexton would necessitate a roster transfer. Any cope with Sexton — signing the qualifying supply by Oct. 1 or agreeing to a multi-year pact — places the Cavs at 16 gamers, one above the most.

Lamar Stevens and Dean Wade are each on waivable, non-guaranteed offers. But the Cavs like them, so chopping one or each feels unlikely — until they’re determined for added monetary flexibility.

Osman and Dylan Windler can be most at risk. Theoretically, the Cavs may connect a future second-round choose or two and ship one into an opposing workforce’s cap house. Both Indiana and San Antonio nonetheless have room in what would successfully be a wage dump.

Hey Chris: How can the Cavs improve the 3? — Joe, Rocky River

Hey, Joe: The exterior choices coming into the offseason had been restricted. At this level, the place is even thinner. You will most likely learn about some pie-in-the-sky potentialities. The Cavs will not give up what it might take to get Kevin Durant, as Brooklyn would demand Garland or Mobley, if not each. That’s a onerous and quick “no.” New Orleans is not entertaining discussions about Brandon Ingram. Boston’s Jaylen Brown solely feels obtainable in Celtics-Nets talks. So, who else is there?

Because it is onerous to seek out a logical starting-caliber “improve,” the greatest short-term path is determining whether or not LeVert, Okoro, Stevens, Wade, Osman or Agbaji can present productive minutes behind Markkanen.

Long time period, there’s a man named LeBron James who could also be a free agent subsequent summer time — a time when the Cavs may have an abundance of cap house. LeBron can be hard-pressed to seek out a higher basketball-specific scenario if he’s seeking to depart the Lakers.

That’s a dialog for an additional day.

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