Nets Sign Caris LeVert To Extension

AUGUST 26: The Nets have officially signed LeVert to an extension, the team announced today in a press release.

“Caris personifies what it means to be a Brooklyn Net, and we firmly believe his best basketball is in front of him,” GM Sean Marks said in a statement. “The growth he has displayed in his first three seasons is a testament to his tireless work ethic, along with an unrelenting will to maximize his talents and achieve team success. Our entire organization is excited to continue to have Caris as one of the leaders of our program moving forward.”

AUGUST 25: The Nets and guard Caris LeVert have agreed to a rookie scale extension, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the new deal is worth $52.5MM over three years. It will go into effect during the 2020/21 season, once LeVert’s rookie scale contract expires.

LeVert, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday, was emerging as Brooklyn’s go-to option at the start of the 2018/19 season, averaging 19.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 3.7 APG in his first 13 games (30.7 MPG). However, a dislocated foot derailed his breakout season, forcing him out of action until February.

In his final 26 regular season contests, LeVert didn’t show the same explosiveness or shooting touch, averaging just 11.2 PPG on .394/.312/.661 shooting in 24.9 minutes per contest. However, in the Nets’ playoff series vs. the Sixers, he flashed that early-season form, scoring a team-high 21.0 PPG with a .493/.462/.724 shooting line in five games (28.8 MPG).

LeVert’s new three-year, $52.5MM deal – which will have annual cap hits of $16.2MM, $17.5MM, and $18.8MM, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks – is a fascinating deal for both sides. The Michigan alum has star upside, so the Nets may have themselves a steal by locking him up for a per-year salary of $17.5MM for three seasons in his prime.

On the other hand, as Marks observes (via Twitter), LeVert’s career has been plagued by injuries dating back to his college days, and he has yet to play a full NBA season, so getting some long-term security likely appealed to him. Plus, by accepting a three-year extension, he’ll be in position to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023 as he enters his age-29 season. Assuming he delivers on his potential, he could be in line for a bigger payday at that time.

It remains to be seen how LeVert’s game will be impacted by the arrival of veterans like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan, but the club clearly views him as one of its core players. Now that he has been locked up through the 2022/23 season, his contract is set to expire at the same time as those four-year deals (though Durant and Irving can opt out a year earlier).

With an eight-figure salary for Spencer Dinwiddie also on the books for next season, Brooklyn won’t have any cap room to work with in the summer of 2020. That shouldn’t be a problem — next year’s free agent class is expected to be weak, and it lost another intriguing name with LeVert coming off the board.

LeVert is the third player to reach an agreement with his current team on a rookie scale extension this offseason, with Ben Simmons (Sixers) and Jamal Murray (Nuggets) having previously signed max deals. There are still 17 players eligible to sign rookie scale extensions, including Pascal Siakam, Buddy Hield, and Jaylen Brown, among others.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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21 thoughts on “Nets Sign Caris LeVert To Extension

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Signing KD to a $164M contract to play for 3 seasons (so basically he is getting $53M/year since he won’t play in 2019-20) may also be a good deal for Brooklyn, IF he is still the player he was in OKC and Golden State.

      But considering the fact that he will turn 32 right before the start of the 2020-21 season, and he is coming off a major achilles injury that’s a big IF. Just look what has happened to Boogie since he suffered the exact same injury a year and a half ago.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Actually it’s more like $54.75M/year that KD is making.

      • bravesfan88

        I see what you’re saying, and I do agree with your general sentiment, but there is one factor differentiating their situations. That x factor would be the difference between Boogie’s weight and KD’s weight.

        Boogie has to put and force a lot more pressure down on his knees and legs when he’s active and performing. KD does not have that same strain and stress on his knees.

        Depending on your own thoughts and opinions, this all might seem very significant, or you might dismiss this completely. Whichever the case may be, personally, I think it’ll be the difference that’s going to allow KD to stay healthy and productive after he comes back..

        • Buckman

          Force = mass x acceleration so Durant could apply the same force to his lower body if he has greater acceleration (i.e., quickness) than Boogie.

  1. byoung5505

    If you remember in the beginning of the 2018-2019 season, he was looking like he would have a breakout year but then he got injured. I like this extension a lot

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Seems risky for a guy who averages 56 games per season.

      • bravesfan88

        All extensions are risky, it’s all about the risk versus the reward..

        LeVert looks like an emerging, young talent in today’s NBA, and if he is able to stay healthy, this will be an absolute steal for the Nets!!

        More importantly for the Nets, this buys Brooklyn some time, and it assures that they’re able to keep the vast majority of their primary core for the next couple of seasons.

        Now, their still likely to lose Joe Harris, which will be a pretty big hit, in terms of shooting and depth, but after this next season, they’ll still have Dinwiddie, Kyrie, KD, LeVert, Jarrett Allen, DJ, Prince, and a lot of people should NOT sleep on Nic Claxton!! Plus, they’ll still have a couple of foreign wild cards in Kurucs and Musa..


        Kyrie, Dinwiddie
        LeVert, Musa, Hands
        KD, Prince, Kurucs
        Claxton, Prince, Ellenson
        Allen, Jordan

        So, as you can see, losing Harris is really going to hurt them that next season. He’s a wing player that’s capable of getting his own shot, and he is a great threat from range. If you look at the Nets’ biggest needs, Harris would be the exact type of player that would perfectly fill their biggest needs.

        I highly doubt the Nets would value Harris more than other organizations, and ultimately I could see him leaving for a team like the Bucks..Or I could easily see a different team like the Mavs simply out bidding the Nets, because Harris isn’t a max player..

        So, anyways, the Nets’ weaknesses are obvious going into ’20-’21 season. They’re going to need another shooting wing, a combo guard, and depending on how fast Claxton is able to develop, they’ll most likely need a starting caliber 4..

        Maybe they can work out a sign and trade with Harris in order to create some more cap flexibility, or so they can try to fill in one of those holes..Either way, the Nets are relevant again finally, and it’s going to be a lot of fun seeing how this all plays out..

        • bravesfan88

          For the record though, personally, I think Harris would actually be a perfect fit on the 76ers, but after acquiring Horror and Harris, I’m sure they’ll be pressed for cap space as it is…

          It’ll also just be interesting to see where Harris ends up. He’s an extremely underrated player, and I think he could definitely help a contender take a big step forward!!

          For his own career though, I truly hope Harris doesn’t end up somewhere like Detroit, New York, or Toronto where he would be doomed to mediocrity year after year…Well, in Toronto’s case, excluding this past season, that was obviously an outlier. Toronto will immediately go directly back to being their old day late, dollar short choking selves!!

        • jonnyzuck

          the nets will be capped out whether or not they sign him so they might as well keep him if ownership will pay the tax

  2. Tazza

    I like Caris and respect his game. He did have a big injury tho and has injury history since college so maybe giving him such an upgrade is a little bit of an overpay. I think they could’ve gotten him to agree to something like 14m, 15m, 16m, 17m. A 4 year deal would’ve paid him longer (more security) and would’ve saved Brooklyn money in smart cap each year that they need to build a contender but overall I respect it. Pay your superstars and secure them then pay your youngsters and secure them. Win now and win later.

    Still don’t really like the DeAndre Jordan/Jarrett Allen fit. I thought an risky move that made sense would’ve been Kuzma for Allen. LA gets a young Centre to replace Boogie to keep AD at the 4 and everyone happy. Nets would’ve got Kuzma who would be really good along with Irving Durant and Jordan. Another risky move would be Joe Harris for Etwaun Moore and Josh Hart. The pelicans would love Harris 3 ball and maybe the Nets cash in on Harris instead of paying him and get back Josh Hart in return. End of the day the pelicans have Holiday, Reddick, NAW, Hart and Moore at the 2, why not balance the team a little bit more for Harris.

    1. Irving. Dinwiddie. Pinson
    2. LeVert. Hart. Moore/Nwaba
    3. Prince. Temple. Krucus/Musa
    4. Durant. Chandler. Claxton
    5. Jordan. Allen. Ellenson

  3. phillyballers

    Well they can’t really add anyone else, might as well keep the guys you’ve even if it’s an overpay.

  4. x%sure

    It will be harder to integrate his game with Irving’s compared to Dins, Harris, Temple, Nwaba, Musa, Pinson… Everyone else. He was probably wise to jump on it. Agree with the apparent consensus, a bit of an overpay but with a fan-reassuring quality.

  5. Real good move. Before his injury, LeVert was the Nets’ best player (by a category over Allen and Russell) and has the skill set to be part of a big 3 with KD/KI. If he even played to par next season, he’d be maxed by someone just on upside. Nets have no cap space next year either way, and this deal (as opposed to what he might have commanded next summer) doesn’t put them into tax territory.

    • x%sure

      It is good business by the Nets, despite the expense and Levert’s kind of injury-prone style. Maybe Irving will have a positive effect since he rarely rushes things or gets twisted up (anymore). Neither did D’lo, but there would be no reason to for LeVert to view D’lo as a role model, at least until after his latest injury. I think LeVert will have to choose between being as good as he can be, and staying healthy with being more complementary.

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