It’s a birthday that Caris Levert will never forget, as the Brooklyn Nets gave the 25-year-old a three-year extension worth $52.5 million. LeVert, who is in the last year of his rookie deal, signed the papers to stay with the Nets who had drafted him 20th overall in the 2016 NBA draft.
LeVert recently recovered from suffering a dislocated right foot early in the 2018-2019 season. He was able to return to the team much faster than many had anticipated after the gruesome injury. LeVert played in 40 games last year for the Nets, starting in 25 of them. During that time he averaged 13.7 points on 43 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the arc.
Although he was averaging a career-high in points, LeVert was having a tough time shooting the ball during his comeback from the injury as his shooting percentages were below average.
With that being said, LeVert showed great promise before his injury as there were multiple games in which he scored 20-plus points on good shooting splits. LeVert is also an above-average perimeter defender and has shown that he can be a high-flyer around the rim. Even after his graphic injury last season he has shown that his athleticism and spirit are still with him which is a good sign for the young forward.
Many project LeVert to be the starting small forward for the Nets, as newly-acquired superstar Kevin Durant will be missing the whole year dealing with his own leg injury. LeVert will be a perfect compliment to Kyrie Irving, as he has demonstrated his ability to catch and shoot the ball as well as move off the ball.
LeVert was also a prolific ball-handler for the Nets during their rebuilding time, so his ability to move the ball and dribble will help release pressure from Irving from being the main ball handler. Assuming that LeVert will be the teams second scoring option and that he is fully recovered from his injury, I have no doubt that LeVert will be earning this new contract of his.
The contract is worth roughly 17.5 million a year, which is less than what some bench players will be receiving this upcoming year. The Nets have locked down a promising forward for the next three years who can play both offense and defense proficiently. I have big expectations this upcoming year for LeVert. He should be a 15 point-per-game scorer alongside Irving, should be a focal point on both sides of the ball during the Nets run in the regular season, and would be a big help come playoff time if the team stays healthy and contends.