Brooklyn Nets: Projecting Caris LeVert’s progress in 2018-19

Caris LeVert is ready to help the Brooklyn Nets win this season. He’s shown progress each season, so what can we expect from LeVert in 2018-19?

In a recent interview with Alex Squadron of SLAM Magazine, Caris LeVert talks about the Brooklyn Nets, what role he wants in 2018-19 and the notable Rising Stars Challenge snub last season.

LeVert is known to be a very humble player and arguably the most humble player on the Nets roster. He is a very well-spoken player who always addresses both sides of a situation and never beats around the bush.

When asked about the Rising Stars Challenge snub, LeVert believes he was snubbed and deserved to be there.

“Yeah, absolutely I feel like I was snubbed from that game,” he tells SLAM. “Last year as well with the All-Rookie Teams, I felt like I should’ve been on that too. That’s really nothing new for me. I feel like I get snubbed from a lot of things, but that’s just motivation.”

The Nets wing is also ready to bring out a new perspective in his play which often goes unnoticed; aggressiveness.

“A lot of people who have never seen me play really don’t know that [side],” he added. Indeed.

“He’s the sweetest, most docile person,” Brooklyn’s head coach Kenny Atkinson described to the New York Post. “When you see his personality, it’s not a big bravado.”

If LeVert can bring out that aggressive side to the court, his play can only get better. With LeVert turning the All-Star snub into motivation, can this be the turning point in LeVert’s career?

Last season, LeVert had the best year of his career. Yes, he was only in his second season but he nearly doubled a good amount of his stats and was rewarded more minutes as the season progressed.

On the offensive end, LeVert played a great amount of time as a backup point guard. The role was a good fit for LeVert and as the season progressed, he improved more. In fact, LeVert liked the point guard role and got in a good rhythm as time went on.

“That was good for me to be able to experience because I’ve played point guard sparingly, but probably never for that long of a span,” Caris says. “I was the second unit’s point guard for probably 25-30 games straight and I got into a rhythm and started to get very comfortable with that.”

He drove the ball at a high level. The Nets wing did a great job drawing contact and finishing at the rim with both hands. To go along with his strong driving game, LeVert shot the ball consistently from all areas of the floor.

In the beginning of the 2017-18 season, LeVert had some minor trouble shooting the 3 ball consistently. Despite the slow start, LeVert started to gain confidence in his 3-point shooing and became a consistent shooter. He shot 34.7 percent from behind the arc last season.

LeVert is one of many young, talented players on the Nets roster. He is likely to be a part of Brooklyn’s long-term plan and likes where the organization is heading and the locker room environment throughout each season.

“You know, our core of guys is pretty young,” he describes. “We’re all around the same age. We’re all trying to figure out things in the League and for us to be close on and off the court as a unit is going to be huge for us moving forward.”

With a great amount of young talent on the roster and many players ready for breakout seasons, what can we expect LeVert’s role to be in 2018-19? Well, LeVert is ready to take on any role Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson wants to throw at him.

“I’m just preparing myself mentally and physically obviously to play whatever position need be, to do whatever is needed on the court,” he explains. “Whether that’s the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, whatever it may be. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for whatever is being thrown at me.”

LeVert is expected to get a good amount of time at the wing position. His size, strength, and play gives him the offensive skill set to thrive at the wing position. Regarding a backcourt role, he is expected to get some minutes, but the Nets still have a crowded backcourt.

Despite trading Jeremy Lin to Atlanta, Milton Doyle playing in Spain, and Isaiah Whitehead traded and now playing in Russia, Sean Marks brought in Shabazz Napier. This is what Brooklyn’s backcourt rotation will consist of next season.

  • D’Angelo Russell (expected point guard starter)
  • Spencer Dinwiddie (point guard/shooting guard backup)
  • Shabazz Napier (point guard backup)
  • Caris LeVert (point guard/ shooting guard backup)

With a crowded backcourt, LeVert will have to work his way up the rotation and earn the minutes. It will come to no surprise if LeVert gets a bigger role as the season progresses, but as of now, we cannot determine a definite position for the young Net.

The bright side is LeVert can play and defend multiple positions at a high level. He plays great in Kenny Atkinson’s pace-and-space offense and will get a good amount of minutes and touches each game.

Little to say the least, we can expect LeVert to have another good season and possibly a breakout season.

LeVert is entering the third year of his rookie deal and the Nets have to decide by the end of October whether or not to pick up their option for his fourth year in 2019-20

Next: 7 Hall of Famers many forget were Nets

It is very likely the Brooklyn Nets will pick up his team option and keep him around for years to come.