Brooklyn Nets 2017-18 Player Grade: Caris LeVert

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Caris LeVert
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Caris LeVert /

In his second NBA season for the Brooklyn Nets, Caris LeVert made some serious strides. He showed his ability to stay on the court, and emerged as a mainstay in the rotation.

The Brooklyn Nets 2016 first round pick out of Michigan had a strong season for coach Kenny Atkinson. He improved in nearly every statistical category.

His averages improved from 8.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 2016 to 12.1 points, 4.2 assists, and 3.7 rebounds this past season. LeVert’s three point shooting also improved from 32 percent to nearly 35 percent. His overall field goal percentage dipped slightly, but that was mostly due to increased usage, as the young guard averaged nearly four more attempts per game.

Perhaps the most important number was 71: the number of games LeVert appeared in. LeVert made 56 appearances in his rookie year. Coming off multiple foot surgeries, health was a big question mark with the guard. Aside from a minor groin issue, he was able to stay on the court, and will look to improve that figure going into next year.

The most noticeable difference in LeVert’s game was his facilitating. His 4.2 assists per game are due in large part to him leading the second unit at the point. After D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin went down with early season injuries, Spencer Dinwiddie took over the starting unit.

At first LeVert came in as a sixth man, and often played alongside Dinwiddie. He struggled in isolation/spot up shooting situations playing off the ball. Once Kenny Atkinson made him the quarterback of the second unit his play took off.

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LeVerts averages as a reserve, 12.4/3.7/4.3, outpaced his work as a starter: 10/3.6/3.7. His shooting percentages jumped immensely from 33.6 percent overall and 20 percent from three, to 45 percent overall and 38 percent from range.

He made the players around him better, and his plus/minus improved by nearly six points per game. LeVert also improved on the defensive end, providing 2.3 win shares on defense.

Caris set a career high with 27 points in March against the Clippers:

The clip displays his explosiveness, and ability to drive to the basket, while also being a crafty play maker.

One area for improvement in year three would be ball security. At times, LeVerts drives can look out of control, and his turnovers per game jumped to 2.2 this past season. With more experience he certainly has the ability to cut down on these.

The other is improving his shooting efficiency. A big goal coming into this season, LeVert showed some improvement, but to take his game to the next level he’ll need his three point shooting to approach 38 percent or higher with higher usage. His mid-range game could also use some work.

Next: Brooklyn Nets 2017-18 Player Grade: Jarrett Allen

With Jeremy Lin back next season, the Nets back court presents a logjam. Between Lin, Russell, Dinwiddie, and LeVert, the Nets will have some decisions to make. Caris made his case to get significant minutes and be a part of the core moving forward.

Player Grade: B+