NBA Superstar Comparison: Caris LeVert Edition

BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 19: Caris LeVert
BROOKLYN, NY - MARCH 19: Caris LeVert /

When watching the young ballers in the game today, it’s hard not to compare them to already established players in the NBA. We see it all the time; comparisons like Kristaps Porzingis and Dirk Nowitzki, De’Aaron Fox and John Wall. It’s just something fans like to do to familiarize themselves with a specific player. As for the Brooklyn Nets, they posses a young buck with a very similar game to a current top-10 player in the NBA and, for some reason, no one has brought up the comparison. Until now!

Brooklyn’s second year small forward Caris LeVert has shown flashes of brilliance so far during his short tenure in the NBA. With his stellar combination of defensive awareness, distribution skills and strong scoring ability, LeVert has many believing he is the steal of the 2016 NBA Draft. And even with that claim, coupled with a very impressive rookie campaign, we have yet to hear any Superstar comparisons directed at the young wing.

Well folks here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Caris LeVert’s Superstar comparison is non other than the 4x NBA All-Star Paul George.

Now, before you exit out of this page and start leaving unflattering remarks in the comment section below, seriously think about it.

Have you ever once stopped to take a look at Caris LeVert’s play? Have you ACTUALLY observed how he operates on the hardwood? If you haven’t, let me show you.

Here is a highlight reel from his 2016-17 rookie campaign. Please enjoy, I’ll wait till you’re done:

Are you done? Good!

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Now, for comparisons sake, lets take a gander at Paul George’s highlights from this past season. Again, I’ll wait:

By this time, you should already have an idea in your mind as to where the comparison lies.

First off, the body type of both players are very similar. Although George may have some height on LeVert (6-9 in comparison to 6-7) they are both tall/ long bodied players with slender physiques.

Next, lets move to their play style. George and LeVert both have a very similar set of skills. They can be found either outside the 3-point line knocking down jumpers or driving to the hole, flushing home finishes at the rim.

Now, although PG-13 may have had a better 3-point percentage than LeVert last season (39% to 32%), LeVert, in comparison to George’s rookie season, bests him by about 4%. In fact, if we’re doing rookie season comparisons, LeVert and George’s stats are not all that different.

Rookie Statistics

Paul George          Caris LeVert

PPG:       7.8                             8.2

RPG:       3.7                             3.3

APG:       1.1                             1.9

SPG:       1.0                              0.9

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Aside from stats, the way they work on the floor is almost identical. Without the ball in hand they seem to glide through a defense at will, finding ways to get open, making it easier for teammates to dish it to them for a clean look at a bucket.

In the videos above, there were many instances where George and LeVert found themselves around the rim with a defender hovering right over their heads. Both players were able to find a way to put the ball in the basket, either through impressive ball fakes or stupendous foot work.

Check out LeVert’s video at minute 3:16 and George’s video at 4:48 to see exactly what I’m talking about.

But not only is their scoring arsenal almost identical, their willingness to distribute the rock is also quite similar as well. Both George and LeVert’s court vision is quite impressive, especially at their respected heights. While they are predominantly known for their scoring and defensive prowess, both players were seen finishing games with 5+ assists on numerous occasions last season.

Look, to say Caris LeVert is anything close to Paul George at this point in time is ludicrous. It’ll take a lot of hard work and determination for LeVert to reach such heights. However, coming into year two with health finally on his side (last 2 seasons in college cut short due to leg injuries) the thought of him one day reaching the level of Paul George isn’t so far fetched.

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If not for injuries in college, the 2016 Draft would have seen LeVert taken as a lottery pick for sure! We’re not talking about just some average joe who wasn’t a highly coveted prospect, were talking about a top 15 selection if he was healthy.

It’s not like Paul George became the player he is today right out of the gate. He worked hard to become an All-Star by year 3. Why can’t LeVert follow in his footsteps?

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This season, with a newly revamped roster and an uptick in minutes for the wing, we should see LeVert’s game rise to a higher level than what we witnessed last season. A sophomore stat-line of 12.3 points, five rebounds, three assists and 1.5 steals per game doesn’t seem out of the question for the soon to be 23-year-old.

Brooklyn fans, you have got yourself a potential franchise player in Caris LeVert. Now, all we have to do is watch.