The question of whether Caris LeVert can be the Brooklyn Nets’ third star alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving may be left unanswered. With Kyrie and KD sidelined by injuries, we never got close to knowing how LeVert’s skill set can complement those two superstars’ games.
Yet, the 25-year-old LeVert already owns a lethal arsenal in his offense. The 6-foot-6 combo wing is putting up all-around numbers of 18.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals this season. He has the mobility and huge strides to drive down the lane for creative finishes around the rim, while also possessing the ability to create space between him and his defender and drill step-back jumpers.
There’s no question that LeVert is poised to be a star in the NBA, but he can’t do that with Irving and Durant owning the ball next season.
Nets can’t wait for LeVert to blossom into a bonafide star
Remember how the Nets shockingly fired Kenny Atkinson, promoted Jacque Vaughn, and then demoted young budding center Jarrett Allen to a sixth man role to insert veteran big man DeAndre Jordan to the starting line-up? Many reports say that Durant and Irving had an influence on that as they believe that Jordan, their close friend, would fit in better as a starter. But more than that, it is also an indicator of how the Nets’ two new superstars are bringing in a win-now approach to the organization.
In short, Brooklyn prioritizes their superstars’ preferences and they couldn’t wait for LeVert to really break out of his shell and grow from being a good player to a great star. When KD and Kyrie come back next season, it will be championship or bust for the Nets. They can’t lose and lick their wounds and have this regret that they didn’t aggressively pursue another proven star.
On top of that, trading LeVert now is a wise move as the young gun is increasing his value with his excellent play in the bubble. He is coming off that 37-point outburst against the Portland Trail Blazers, a masterful individual performance that should have teams salivating for his potential. A package of LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen should be enough for a team like the Washington Wizards to possibly let go of Bradley Beal, giving Brooklyn an excellent prime superstar to join forces with Durant and Irving.
LeVert needs the ball on his hands
With the lethal scoring skillset that he already has, LeVert is still not a great three-point shooter. He is shooting a decent clip of 36% from beyond the arc this season, and there is a case that he could improve that number next year if he will always find himself wide open due to all the attention that KD and Kyrie will gravitate towards themselves.
But LeVert is still better with the ball on his hands as he doesn’t just score, but he can also make plays for his teammates on a consistent basis. That’s the part of LeVert’s game that has been severely overlooked in the past couple of years and something that he cannot do when the Nets’ two superstars are on the court with him.