Caris LeVert makes Brooklyn Nets’ pending guard decision easier

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 8: Caris LeVert /

Caris LeVert looks to be healthy again. And that’s huge for a Brooklyn Nets team looking to finish the season strong. When he’s at his best, LeVert solves the Nets’ looming guard decision for them. The key is to stay consistent.

There’s no doubt the Brooklyn Nets took a gamble when they took Caris LeVert 20th overall in the 2016 draft. Injuries were the biggest question mark, in addition to his progression in light of his injury history. After fully recovering from foot surgery in college, He appeared in 56 games last season, and will top that number this season. A good trend.

The Brooklyn Nets really struggled with LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson out. Since LeVert has returned, he’s been playing great basketball. Coach Kenny Atkinson agrees:

In his last five games he’s averaging 16.6 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.6 rebounds, shooting 49 percent overall and 41 percent from three. He’s also getting 1.2 steals per game over that stretch and defending opposing wings well.

When D’Angelo Russell went down with his knee injury earlier this year, LeVert was handed the keys to the second unit, as a primary ball handler. He’s excelled in that role, while his ability to drive to the rim and finish at all costs, is impressive as well.

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From a basketball standpoint, the biggest question with LeVert has been his three point shooting. It has improved from 32 percent last season, to 34 percent this year. And the recent stretch has shown what Caris can do when he catches fire from range.

His overall numbers are 12 points, four assists, and 3.7 rebounds in 26 minutes per game. A good improvement over last season too.

Keep in mind that this is LeVert’s first full season in the NBA. Nets can seriously consider him a part of the future at the guard spot. Which makes it easier for them to move Russell, or more likely Spencer Dinwiddie in a trade.

Dinwiddie’s value has never been as high as it is this season, and the Nets aren’t going to be able to pay all their guards once they hit free agency. The Nets can turn him into a draft asset to help address the front court.

Then Kenny Atkinson can have LeVert lead the second unit behind Russell and Jeremy Lin next season.

Having been drafted more recently, LeVert also provides the Nets with most cost efficiency moving forward. This will allow Sean Marks to spend money in other areas that need improvement.

What the Brooklyn Nets would love to see for the rest of the season, is the Caris LeVert they’ve seen over the last five. If he can continue playing at that level, the Nets will win some ball games down the stretch.

Next: Should the Nets shop Spencer Dinwiddie?