The Cavaliers haven’t decided on their starting small forward, but Caris LeVert appears to be the favorite to win the job, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. LeVert has put together a strong preseason, and he gives Cleveland a third dynamic scorer to team with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell.
“He’s been as selfless as you can imagine, just trying to make it work,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of LeVert. “Sometimes to a point where we want to push him to do more, and that’s going to be a matter of time. When you’re playing with Donovan and Darius, he understands that he’s going to do more facilitating at times, but he also is going to recognize that we want him to play to his strength.”
When training camp began, Bickerstaff said six players had a chance to claim the final starting spot. Dylan Windler has been out for the past week with an ankle injury, Lamar Stevens hasn’t played much in the preseason and Cedi Osman is struggling with his shot. Fedor believes the battle is down to three players, with Dean Wade and Isaac Okoro as LeVert’s main competitors.
There’s more from the Central Division:
- After a disappointing start to his career in Sacramento, Marvin Bagley III welcomed a second chance with the Pistons. In an interview with Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, Bagley talked about the trade that sent him to Detroit and the new contract he signed this summer. “I came in with an open mind. I didn’t know what to expect when I got traded here,” he said. “When I got here, I played my game and was able to be myself. Coach (Dwane) Casey helped me out a lot. The guys on the team welcomed me when I got here. I feel like I caught up pretty quickly and was able to go out, play and be a part of the games towards the end of the year. To start off the season with the team and go through a full training camp is exciting.”
- Rodney McGruder is enjoying his role as a veteran leader on a young Pistons team, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. That role factored into Detroit’s decision to re-sign the 31-year-old guard, Curtis adds.
- At 36, Goran Dragic is savoring the latter part of his time in the NBA, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “This means I just want to enjoy basketball,” said Dragic, who signed with the Bulls in August. “I’m probably close to the end of my career. I just want to enjoy it and win games. I think this is a really awesome group that I’m a part of. Everybody is such a nice guy and having fun. And of course, now it’s all on us to start winning and it’s going to be much easier.”