Caris LeVert

Cavaliers Notes: Mitchell, Roster Moves, Garland, Bates

Friday marked the first day the Cavaliers were permitted to submit an extension offer to Donovan Mitchell, writes Chris Fedor of The All-Star guard has two years left on his current contract, along with a $37MM player option for 2025/26. President of basketball operations Koby Altman hopes to iron out a long-term agreement this summer and shut down rumors that the New York native has an eye on eventually joining the Knicks in free agency.

Altman said the front office will have “internal discussions” about the details of an extension that he hopes will appeal to Mitchell. He added that keeping a competitive roster around Mitchell is the best way to make him want to stay in Cleveland.

“He’s really, really happy here and he’ll tell you that,” Altman said. “All I can go off is Donovan’s actions and his intentions. He’s with us in Vegas right now. He’s super excited about the future. He’ll be at the game tonight. He’s been in Cleveland multiple times this offseason already. He’s worked out with guys, he’s bringing guys with him wherever he is. All you can go off are those actions and how genuine he talks about his experience in Cleveland. I think he sees the runway of the players around him and the youth around him. All I can go off is his actions and his intentions and they’ve all been really genuine.”

There’s more on the Cavaliers:

  • Altman told reporters that Mitchell helped with recruiting during free agency, Fedor relays. Cleveland was able to re-sign Caris LeVert, bring in Max Strus in a sign-and-trade and add Georges Niang and Ty Jerome, even though Fedor notes that they all had other options. “This is the team they wanted to come to,” Altman said. “They saw the fit. They saw the upside. They think that we can go a long way.” 
  • Altman pledged to keep the core of last year’s team together and dismissed speculation that he was considering offers for Darius Garland, calling it “the most crazy rumor you’ve ever heard in your life,” Fedor adds.
  • The Cavs are hoping for gradual progress from second-round pick Emoni Bates, Fedor states in a separate story. Bates, who was once considered the top high school prospect in the nation, is hoping to re-establish himself after struggling through two collegiate seasons. “There’s no expectation here,” Altman said. “Don’t have to come in here and shock the world. Really learn from this group and have fun again. If he blossoms into a rotational player down the road that can really help us space the floor and shoot, which I think is one of his best traits, that’d be great. But no expectation for him and certainly have patience and let him grow.”

Cavaliers Re-Sign Caris LeVert To Two-Year Deal

JULY 6: LeVert’s new deal with the Cavaliers is now official, the team confirmed (via Twitter).

JUNE 30: The Cavaliers have reached an agreement to re-sign free agent swingman Caris LeVert, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Agent Austin Brown tells Wojnarowski that it’ll be a two-year, $32MM deal.

Chris Fedor of had reported in the days leading up to free agency that LeVert would be offered a contract in the range of $15-18MM annually, so the terms come as no surprise. At that price, Cleveland still has the flexibility to continue adding to to its roster while remaining below the luxury tax line.

When the Cavaliers first traded for LeVert in 2021, they envisioned him as a scorer and play-maker who would frequently have the ball in his hands. Following the emergence of Darius Garland and the acquisition of Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland asked him to play off the ball more in 2022/23, an adjustment which was reflected in his statistics — LeVert’s 18.7% usage rate was easily his lowest since his rookie year, and his 12.1 points per game were well below the 18.5 PPG he averaged across the three previous seasons.

However, LeVert adjusted to his new role without complaint and expanded his game. His .392 3PT% last season was a career high and he took on more challenging defensive assignments to alleviate the pressure on Garland and Mitchell.

LeVert’s new deal puts him on track to return to unrestricted free agency in 2025 at age 30.

Free Agent Rumors: G. Williams, LeVert, Harden, VanVleet, Barnes

Even after the acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis, the door hasn’t been closed on a possible new contract for the Celtics and restricted free agent forward Grant Williams, sources tell Steve Bulpett of

According to Bulpett, the Celtics and Williams have a good relationship and are interested in beginning negotiations with one another to see if a deal is financially feasible. If those discussions aren’t fruitful, the two sides could pivot to exploring sign-and-trade scenarios that would land Williams elsewhere and get Boston some sort of asset, even if it’s only a trade exception.

For his part, Williams said on Tuesday that he “absolutely” would be interested in re-signing with the Celtics while also acknowledging that the team’s payroll and the realities of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement could make it challenging, per Jay King of The Athletic.

“Cap-wise, with the new CBA, I think all these teams, as we see, are trying to get the trades in and the contracts done prior to the CBA truly being enacted,” Williams said. “So you’re going to see a lot of all-in pushes. So if the Celtics decide to do that, I think that’s kind of how it will work out (with him re-signing in free agency). If not, it helps them financially a little bit, but it definitely changes the numbers as you look around.”

Here are a few more notes and rumors on free agency from around the NBA:

  • The Cavaliers will likely offer free agent swingman Caris LeVert a deal in the range of $15-18MM per year, sources tell Chris Fedor of (subscription required). As Fedor explains, the Cavs’ goal is to find the sweet spot where they’ll be able to outbid rival mid-level offers for LeVert while leaving themselves with enough breathing room below the tax line to use their own full mid-level exception.
  • Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up on Wednesday, Brian Windhorst reiterated that James Harden seems more likely to sign with the Sixers than the Rockets as a free agent, according to Adam Zagoria of “(The Rockets) are out there aggressively chasing other free agents,” Windhorst said. “They are not acting as if they think they are getting James Harden.”
  • Despite reports that Fred VanVleet will be a top target for the Rockets in free agency, Josh Lewenberg of (Twitter link) has spoken to several people around the league who are skeptical that the point guard will end up in Houston. The Raptors remain confident that they’ll be able to re-sign VanVleet, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link), who says the team’s plan is retain both VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl.
  • After reporting earlier this week that the Kings‘ contract extension talks with Harrison Barnes had “gone quiet,”  James Ham of The Kings Beat (Twitter link) hears from a league source that the two sides have reopened those discussions. Barnes is eligible for an extension until June 30. If he doesn’t have a new deal in place by then, the veteran forward would become an unrestricted free agent.

Central Notes: LeVert, Mitchell, Pacers’ Workouts, Vucevic

A short-term contract might work for both the Cavaliers and one of their free agents, Caris LeVert, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer opines. LeVert settled into the role of sixth man as the season went along and he wants to re-sign.

Cleveland won’t find a better player with its $12.2MM mid-level exception, according to Fedor, so it makes sense for the Cavs to bring back LeVert and then use the exception to add another rotation piece.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Donovan Mitchell recently expressed on social media his frustration at not being All-NBA First Team. In an “Sideline Stroll w/Ros” interview (video link), Mitchell spoke about the perceived snub in greater detail. “I just felt I should have been First Team,” he said. “So that’s one of my goals next year, is to be First Team. And I felt like I was good enough. But obviously the media members did not.” Mitchell did make the Second Team.
  • The Pacers will host six draft prospects on Monday, including Indiana University star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, according ot a team press release. Emmanuel Akot (Western Kentucky), Tyree Appleby (Wake Forest), Chris Livingston (Kentucky), Terquavion Smith (NC State) and Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona) will join him at the Pacers’ practice facility.
  • The Bulls are looking to lock up Nikola Vucevic for the next three seasons, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. A report that an extension was being discussed with the center, who will otherwise be a free agent next month, surfaced on Wednesday. The Bulls are apparently not looking to take “big swings” this summer and Cowley disagrees with that strategy for a franchise wallowing in mediocrity.

Western Notes: Landale, Grizzlies, Towns, Gobert

Backup center Jock Landale, who will be a restricted free agent if Phoenix gives him a qualifying offer, hopes to remain with the Suns long term.

“This is a city and a fanbase and an organization I’d love to be a part of for the rest of my career if I could,” Landale said (Twitter video link via PHNX Suns).

The 27-year-old Australian had relatively modest numbers in the regular season, averaging 6.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 69 games (14.2 MPG).

However, after making just one brief appearance in Phoenix’s five-game series against the Clippers, Landale made his mark against Denver, as Phoenix was plus-34 over his 106 minutes in the series, with a positive plus/minus in five of his six games despite the club losing four of those contests and ultimately getting eliminated.

Here’s more from the West:

Cavaliers Won’t Consider Replacing J.B. Bickerstaff

The Cavaliers‘ moves this summer won’t include a coaching change, writes Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Speaking to reporters on Friday, president of basketball operations Koby Altman quashed any rumors that the team might consider replacing head coach J.B. Bickerstaff following a first-round playoff exit.

“Yes. Absolutely,” Altman replied when asked if the organization remains committed to Bickerstaff. “There’s no question about that. I mean, look what he’s accomplished. It’s actually funny, I’ve not heard that, maybe because I haven’t been reading or not on Twitter, but I’ve not heard that noise. So that’s not even a question. […] End that speculation.”

Bickerstaff led the Cavaliers to a fourth-place finish in the East, and their 51 wins were the most since LeBron James left for Los Angeles in 2018. Altman said he worked with Bickerstaff on exit interviews this week, giving advice to players on how to improve during the offseason. He also credited Bickerstaff with building a culture in the post-LeBron era.

“You can’t fluke your way into 51 wins,” Altman said. “You can’t fluke your way into the No. 1 defensive rating in the NBA. That’s coaching. I know we have great defensive personnel, but you have to have buy-in from them, and that comes from the head coach. And so we’re extremely happy with J.B. and the job he’s done.”

Altman addressed several other topics in his session with the media:

  • The Cavaliers won’t panic after their short playoff run, and Altman said fans shouldn’t expect “sweeping changes” this summer, Russo adds. Many of the team’s rotation players were in the playoffs for the first time, and Altman believes the organization can build on that experience. “I also think the strength of our roster is the fact that we’re positioned really well for the future with the guys that are most important under contract,” he said. “… We have to look at what’s the piece that we really want to improve and enhance and then use the vehicle that we have to go do that.”
  • Re-signing free agent forward Caris LeVert will be an offseason priority, Altman said. Russo notes that LeVert’s role with the team changed after Donovan Mitchell was acquired last summer, and he evolved into a sixth man and secondary playmaker as the season progressed. “He’s a big part of our attack,” Altman said, “and it’s a big reason why, at the deadline, I didn’t do anything because he was a big part of what we were doing and I didn’t want to lose that. So we’d be fortunate to have him back.”
  • Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley were outplayed during the Knicks’ series, but there’s no thought of splitting up the big man duo, Altman adds. Allen is signed for three more years at $20MM annually, and Mobley is still on his rookie contract. “When you have the level of success that you’ve had with those two, it’s really hard to say, ‘Oh let’s just break them up based off one playoff series,’” Altman stated.

Cavs Notes: Mitchell, Next Season, LeVert, Garland, Wing Upgrades

The Cavaliers traded for Donovan Mitchell to make them a true contender. Mitchell felt personally responsible for the team’s 4-1 series loss to the Knicks, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.

“I don’t feel like I was the player I needed to be for this group,” Mitchell said. “That’s what’s gonna keep me up at night. I’ve done it all year. You know what I mean? So I just didn’t deliver like I expected myself to, my teammates and everybody expects me to. And like I said, I take that upon myself, man, like I gotta be better.”

Mitchell averaged 23.2 points — five below his season average — and shot 43.3 percent and 28.9 on 3-point attempts in the series.

We have more on the Cavs:

  • This year’s playoff flop puts immense pressure on the team to get deeper into the postseason next year, Jason Lloyd of The Athletic opines. Even though Mitchell is signed through the 2025/26 season, he can opt out in the summer of 2025. If the Cavs can’t get a long-term commitment from Mitchell after next season, they may need to trade him, Lloyd writes. They also don’t have many assets to upgrade the roster.
  • Caris LeVert is headed to free agency but he “absolutely” wants to re-sign, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. LeVert averaged 18 points in the last four games of the series.
  • Darius Garland learned some lessons during the series, Fedor writes at Garland’s eyes were opened by the different tempo and intensity in the playoffs. “The pace is just so fast, it’s just coming to you really quick,” Garland said. “It’s a lot to process. Go back and watch this film, see what we did wrong. Trying to learn from it as much as I can. It hurts, but we know what it feels like. We know how playoff basketball is. We know the physicality of it. We know the mental aspect of it. It’s going to make us work hard and we’re going to remember this feeling.”
  • How can the Cavs upgrade at the wing? Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype explores that topic in his offseason primer. They could target Josh RichardsonJalen McDaniels or Kelly Oubre with their mid-level exception. They could also try to trade for a forward with the MLE since the new CBA allows it to be used as a trade exception. Potential targets in that case could include Royce O’NealeReggie Bullock or Alec Burks.

Cavaliers Notes: Okoro, Playoffs, Green, Mitchell

Isaac Okoro will miss his sixth straight game on Sunday with soreness in his left knee, but there’s hope that he might be ready for the Cavaliers‘ playoff opener, writes Chris Fedor of After today’s practice, Okoro went through an on-court workout, which Fedor described as set shots followed by movement-based jumpers from 18 to 23 feet.

Okoro hasn’t played since March 26, and coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he’s being considered day-to-day. A source tells Fedor that Okoro has a bone bruise that’s causing the soreness, but adds that he probably could have played in the past few games if they had been more meaningful.

Okoro will be part of a long injury list when the Cavs wrap up their regular season tomorrow. Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Caris LeVert and Dylan Windler are all listed as out, while Jarrett Allen is questionable.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • After being eliminated in the play-in tournament last season, the Cavaliers are enjoying the security that comes with clinching the fourth seed, Fedor adds. The team will open the playoffs next Saturday or Sunday at home against the Knicks. “We are looking forward to it and I think it’s going to be a very, very fun series to play,” Cedi Osman said. “This is what we worked for. We worked really hard for this and I’m happy we achieved and we deserve to be in the playoffs. Now, going to go out there, try to do our best and try to go as far as we can.”
  • Danny Green is the Cavaliers’ most experienced playoff veteran, but he may not be part of the rotation when the postseason begins, Fedor observes in another story. Green signed with Cleveland in mid-February after reaching a buyout with the Rockets, but he has only played 71 total minutes in seven games with his new team. “Not up to me to decide,” Green responded when asked about his potential playoff role. “They had been winning before I got here so I know they had that rotation of guys that were playing well and they earned their minutes and the right to be in the playoffs and in the rotation. So, it’s up to me to earn my minutes and showcase to the coaching staff that I’m able to help and be ready when my number is called.”
  • Mitchell and Jalen Brunson both had huge scoring outbursts in the regular season meetings between the Cavs and Knicks, Zach Braziller of the New York Post notes in an analysis of the upcoming series. Mitchell averaged 31.8 points per game in the four contests, while Brunson was at 25.3 PPG.

Cavaliers Notes: Okoro, Wade, LeVert, Mitchell, Mobley

As the Cavaliers enter the final week of the regular season, they’re unsure if Isaac Okoro will be available when the playoffs start, writes Chris Fedor of Okoro is dealing with soreness in his left knee that has been bothering him for a while. He logged just nine minutes in last Sunday’s game and hasn’t been able to play or practice since then.

“We need to get him to a place better than he was,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “If Isaac doesn’t play, it’s because he’s in real discomfort. We’ve got to make sure we’re taking the steps to get him to a place of comfort and safety. That’s more important. It’s something we’re just monitoring every day and hopefully he continues to improve.”

Bickerstaff admitted last night that the team isn’t sure if Okoro will be able to recover in time for a first-round series. He’s the Cavs’ best perimeter defender and the first option to start at small forward, and Fedor states that his absence was notable as the defense struggled in this week’s losses to the Hawks and Knicks.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Dean Wade started in place of Okoro on Sunday as the Cavaliers try to keep Caris LeVert in his preferred role of sixth man, Fedor adds. Wade gives the team more size, but he’s still dealing with a painful shoulder injury that required surgery earlier this season. LeVert won the starting job in training camp and has started 30 of the 73 games he’s played, but he feels more comfortable in a reserve role. “With Don (Donovan Mitchell) and D.G. (Darius Garland), they have a good chemistry, especially when it comes to who is making the plays and things like that,” LeVert said. “I feel like me coming off the bench is kind of a good switch-up and keeps it balanced with myself and Ricky (Rubio). I know the responsibility of those guys and I know what I’m capable of, so I feel like me coming off the bench is kind of like a secret weapon in a sense just because we all know what I can do on both ends of the floor.”
  • Mitchell made history with his 40-point performance Sunday, Fedor states in another story. He became the first Cavaliers player with three consecutive 40-point games and broke LeBron James‘ team record with his 12th 40-point outing of the season.
  • Cavaliers players and coaches are touting Evan Mobley as Defensive Player of the Year, Fedor writes in a separate piece. It’s rare for a second-year player to be considered for that honor, but Mobley has been a difference maker no matter who he’s match up with. “He has the versatility to guard every position,” Bickerstaff said. “He’s been that for a team that’s been the number one defense for a majority of the year. Night by night his matchup changes, but his responsibilities don’t.”

Cavaliers Notes: Allen, LeVert, Mobley, Playoffs

The right eye contusion that sidelined Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen for four games still hasn’t fully healed, writes Chris Fedor of However, the big man was able to return to action on Tuesday in Brooklyn and was effective against his former team in his first game back, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in 35 minutes.

“It’s better,” Allen said of his eye injury. “Not 100 percent. But doctors said it was good to go and good to play and it won’t get worse, so I trust the team and was ready to go again.”

According to Fedor, Allen said before the game that he’s still experiencing some blurriness, which is expected to persist for at least a couple more weeks, but he joked that he’s “not seeing three rims.” While the 24-year-old will likely continue receiving treatment through the end of the month, he’s just relieved that the injury wasn’t as serious as it could have been.

“I think everybody thought it was going to be worse,” Allen said. “The pain I felt was immense. I didn’t know what to expect from it but glad it turned out how it did. … Nothing severely structural was wrong. I can deal with the pain. I can deal with the days of recovery. I just know that my future is stable in terms of my eye.”

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • Cavaliers wing Caris LeVert struggled last month after being at the center of trade rumors leading up to the Feb. 9 deadline, but has bounced back nicely in March, scoring at least 15 points in each of his last six games with a scorching hot .514 3PT% during that time. In a pair of articles for, Fedor takes a closer look at LeVert’s role and his “unsung” contributions, and suggests that the Cavs have interest in signing the 28-year-old to a multiyear deal when he reaches free agency this summer.
  • Evan Mobley is taking the second-year leap that the Cavaliers were hoping for, Fedor writes for Since one of his worst outings of the season against Phoenix on January 4, Mobley has raised his game to a new level, emerging as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and averaging more than 18 points per game. “It’s hard to say and put a number on it or quantify it, but I think he is a much better basketball player now than he was even in October or December,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “I think people get hung up a lot on the numbers. You can watch it. If you’ve got a feel for the game, you see where he can impact the game in the way that he does. Now for the naked eye, he’s throwing numbers to go along with it.”
  • Although Fedor recently stated in a mailbag that Brooklyn is the Cavaliers’ preferred first-round playoff opponent, the outcome of Tuesday’s game made that matchup a longer shot. While the Cavs appear pretty locked into the East’s No. 4 seed (they’re 3.5 games from the next-closest team in either direction), the Nets now trail the No. 5 Knicks by 2.5 games following Tuesday’s loss to Cleveland.