- The Cavaliers have made a huge splash ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers
- Cleveland’s Eastern Conference title odds improved from +3300 to +2100
- Are the Cavs a solid bet to win the East after bolstering their backcourt? Find the analysis and best bet below
With the February 10th NBA Trade Deadline just days away, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made a big move to strengthen their depleted backcourt. They’ve acquired Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for a first-round pick, two second-round picks, and Ricky Rubio’s expiring contract.
Coincidentally, the Cavaliers host the Pacers as five-point favorites this afternoon.
Following the big news, the Cavs’ Eastern Conference odds have improved drastically from +3300 to +2100. Cleveland is currently just 1.5 games out of first place with a 32-21 record.
2022 Eastern Conference Odds
|New York Knicks||+16000|
Odds as of February 6th at FanDuel Sportsbook.
A Tremendous Addition For Cleveland
After losing Rubio and Collin Sexton to major knee injuries earlier in the campaign, many believed the Cavs wouldn’t have enough to stay competitive in the East. But, Darius Garland stepped up his play immensely while their massive frontcourt consisting of Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Lauri Markkanen also rose to the occasion.
Cleveland was linked to several different guards in the past weeks; however, LeVert is the one they’ve landed on, and it’s a wonderful addition.
The 27-year-old is an Ohio native and will undoubtedly be thrilled to come back home and play on a contender. His skillset should also fit nicely on this current Cavs roster. Garland is truly a versatile threat who can score at will and facilitate. LeVert brings just that to Cleveland as well. He’s averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.9 rebounds this season.
Also, the former Michigan standout used to play with Allen on the Nets and they built some very nice chemistry together before Brooklyn became a star-studded franchise. While LeVert is capable of being a playmaker, he does like to be one of the primary ball-handlers.
Breaking: The Cavaliers are acquiring Caris LeVert in a trade, sources tell @wojespn.
The Pacers will receive Ricky Rubio, a 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick and two second-round picks, per Wojnarowski. pic.twitter.com/gtRNilOOXZ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 6, 2022
That being said, Cleveland is just about the only exception amongst contending teams in the conference who could use a player like him. With Garland playing such heavy minutes and the lack of a legitimate backup for him when he needs a rest, LeVert fits the bill perfectly. He has the potential to turn into their second unit star and give J.B. Bickerstaff reliable scoring.
Even though the Cavs brought in Rajon Rondo recently, he’s not at the point in his career to score at a high level. The veteran can still dish dimes, which could prove to be valuable when LeVert is running the show off the bench. There is still the chance Cleveland starts LeVert, but this is a very good option as well. Whatever route they choose, it should work out nicely.
Cleveland headed into the day with +6000 NBA title odds, and that number should shorten in the coming days as well.
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Does This Make Them Contenders?
It’s all going to come down to the type of chemistry LeVert can build with his teammates. Considering he already played with Allen, I don’t think LeVert will have a problem finding comradery with another big like Mobley.
Also, the ex-Pacer is versatile enough to play either guard position or even small forward. LeVert isn’t the best defender. He will definitely need to buy into this team’s defensive philosophy, which is something the Cavs pride themselves on.
Cavs have youth and versatility…
Darius Garland (22 yrs old
Collin Sexton (23 yrs old)
Jarrett Allen (23 yrs old)
Evan Mobley (20 yrs old)
Caris LeVert (27 yrs old)
Lauri Markkanen (24 yrs old)
Isaac Okoro (21 yrs old)
— The Fastbreak Podcast 🎙 (@Fastbreak_Pod) February 6, 2022
This trade absolutely makes Cleveland better and provides them with more depth, which is something they needed very badly. While their Big 3 of Garland, Mobley, and Allen have been showing out, any organization that is really going to be competitive needs as many pieces as possible that can pick up the brunt on both ends when necessary.
With the Cavs right in the mix for that East title right now, the value at +2100 is more than worth it. Cleveland has already beaten some of the best teams in the league and continues to prove it’s a legitimate force to be reckoned with. Another guy who put up almost 20 points per game is going to make a notable difference.
A fantastic trade.
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