Pacers trade Caris LeVert to Cavs for assets, which signals start down a different path
At 19-36, this is a lost season. This deal provides options and was made with the future in mind.
Four days before the 2022 NBA trade deadline, the Pacers made their first move.
Just a few minutes before Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle was to meet with reporters for his regularly-schedule pregame visit, the team reached agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a deal centered on guard Caris LeVert.
This was a few hours before the Pacers and Cavs were set to play … in Cleveland.
In exchange, the Pacers — who are also including the Heat’s 2022 second-round pick, which figures to be one of the last picks in this year’s draft — will receive:
Cavaliers’ 2022 first-round pick (lottery protected). It will likely be a pick in the early 20s.
Rockets’ 2022 second-round pick, likely pick 33.
Jazz’s 2027 second-round pick.
Point guard Ricky Rubio, who suffered a season-ending injury and is in a contract year.
All along, LeVert was the most likely candidate not to finish the season in Indy. It was clear that his playing style didn’t blend well with what Carlisle wanted. And LeVert wasn’t exactly happy, either, though I’m told their relationship had improved.
But did you notice LeVert saying after several games how they failed to make adjustments in the second half? That’s targeted at Carlisle.
And on the other side, Carlisle has been overly positive publicly about LeVert’s game for several months. As a head coach for over 20 years, Carlisle knows exactly what he’s doing and is deliberate with what he says.
“As you may have heard or seen on social media, there’s been a trade that’s been agreed to in principle between us and the Cavs that would send Caris LeVert to the Cavs,” Carlisle said before Sunday’s game. For a coach who says he’s not on social media, he sure has a good understanding of what’s out there. Woj had the news first, on Twitter.
LeVert knew a deal could go down and learned about it two hours before tip-off on Sunday. He was already inside Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. A year ago when he was dealt to Indy, it was also a game day. He learned about it from hundreds of messages that filled his phone while he took a pre-game nap.
“Me being in this league for a long time, I’m not really surprised by anything,” veteran Justin Holiday said after their 98-85 loss. “You hate to see your teammate have to leave and go somewhere else.”
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