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A Monumental Cavalanche and Caris LeVert Trade: Cavaliers Weekend Update
The Cleveland Cavaliers have complete control over my mental health for the rest of the 2022 NBA season. Waking up on a Cavs game day has the same sort of feel that a child gets on Christmas morning, waiting as long as they can before they open their presents. Since the surprise 2016 Guardians World Series run, no team from Cleveland has garnered so much unrivaled love from the city.
This weekend only kindled fans' fiery emotions, starting with a trade deadline deal to acquire combo guard Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers. The Cavs had to part way with their 2022 first-round pick and the rights to Ricky Rubio to acquire LeVert, leading a small sect of fans to question whether this will hurt the Cavs in the future.
There are two ways I can positively spin the hater's arguments against LeVert.
Hater's argument number one: “LeVert is a ball-hawk that will kill the Cavs flow on offense.”
I’m not sure if anyone’s been watching the Cavs recently, but I would be beyond shocked if the Cavs' offense got any worse when they add a 20 point-per-game scorer to an offense needing a scoring jolt. Besides his proven ability to score, he’s not going to be a player to mess up locker room chemistry.
Every time he’s been traded, his old teammates and coaches have only showered him with the highest praises. Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle described Levert as: “...a very special person and a very special player. First-class human being, first-class professional, tremendous player, and a guy that I'm going to miss working with every day."
If LeVert can guard anywhere near the level that Okoro can, he will be a huge plus on this team moving forward. He could be a stop-gap scoring option while the Cavs try to stay afloat without Darius Garland.
Hater's argument number two: “The Cavs shouldn’t blow up their future to get a player who doesn’t make them a contender.”
One, be quiet, the Cavs are contenders. And two, not every trade or acquisition has to make you a title contender. Sometimes, when a team makes a trade, you need to look at it in a vacuum. Since Cleveland isn’t mortgaging its future, ask whether the Cavs are better today than they were on Saturday night. If you don’t think they are, then you’re entitled to that opinion, but I think they significantly improved.
The Cavs went and helped their team and their culture. This move doesn’t make the Cavs better than the Bucks or a healthy Nets squad just yet, but it gives us a better shot at taking one of those giants down. Creating a core of young players that can gain playoff experience this year is what’s most important to the future of this team, and that’s why I love this trade so much.
After the LeVert trade, the Cavs still had the Pacers to play on Sunday night. For the first three quarters, this game was pretty ugly. Then, the pattened-pending Cavalanche happened. The biggest Cavalanche of the year took place, erasing a seven point 4th quarter deficit with a 19-0 run by Love and Cedi Osman.
Cedi had a career-high for points in a quarter, breaking a personal record he set last month. Jarrett Allen was once again unstoppable totaling 15 points and 17 rebounds. He was a huge All-Star snub and these last two games have more than proved that he is deserving of Kevin Durant’s injury replacement for the All-Star game in Cleveland. If this game was in any other city, NBA commissioner Adam Silver would probably give the nod to up-and-coming star Lamelo Ball, but maybe he will appease the home crowd with a late addition of Allen.
We still have a ton of time left in the 2022 regular season, but the Cavs have started to find their groove. This team isn’t a chore to watch like this year’s Browns. They’re a young group of hungry guys who have bought in on fun team basketball. What more can you ask as a fan?
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