Indiana Pacers: Caris LeVert is the real winner from the blockbuster trade

NBA Brooklyn Nets Caris LeVert (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
NBA Brooklyn Nets Caris LeVert (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Caris LeVert lands in a great situtation with the Indiana Pacers

Should the Houston Rockets have kept Caris LeVert instead of moving him immediately? Victor Oladipo is an all-star caliber guard. He’s far more proven than Caris LeVert, and the pairing of him and John Wall sounds like a good, physical backcourt. It’d sound even better two years ago, but injuries to both have sapped seasons of their careers.

Oladipo is also in the final year of his deal and has publicly voiced wanting to land with the Miami Heat. The Rockets better hope this isn’t a rental. Aside from it possibly being a rental, we know what Victor Oladipo is at this point. We can’t say the same for Caris LeVert.

For the first time in his career, he won’t have to defer often and he’ll be counted on to produce. We saw glimpses of it in the NBA bubble, and with a much better core around him than the depleted Nets bubble roster, we might see him take the next step.

The step the player he was traded for took. I don’t think Caris LeVert will become a 30 point-per-game scorer like James Harden, but a similar Harden-like breakout is not out of the question. Harden blossomed immediately after his trade to Houston, improving his numbers across the board. Houston watched him turn into a star, and they may have just made a mistake by trading Caris LeVert.

We don’t know what he’ll do potentially being the first option in Indiana, but a breakout is imminent. This Indiana Pacers team is going to be around for a while too. Malcolm Brogdon has really turned a corner this season. His scoring has drastically improved, and he’s looking like he’ll make his first NBA All-Star appearance this year.

The former UVA guard has been a great signing and he’s progressed, but Domantas Sabonis has been a story himself. He’s returned from his season-ending foot injury stronger than ever, and he’s the only player in the league averaging a 20/12/6 stat line. He’s been phenomenal and he’s emerging as one of the best big men in the league.

Myles Turner continues to man the middle and stretch the floor consistently, he’s averaging four blocks a game and will be in the conversation for NBA Defensive Player of the Year. When T.J. Warren returns the Pacers will have a starting five that can compete with anyone. A group of unheralded, hungry basketball players.

For those who watched Caris LeVert at Michigan, we’ve been waiting for this type of move. Playing third fiddle to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving was always going to have its limitations. He’s a crafty scorer and shooter, capable of getting to his spots and finding a bucket. With more opportunity and more of a green light, we may see that emergence in Indiana.

Yes, James Harden finally got his trade request granted, and he enters a better, win-now situation immediately. A breakup and change of scenery was necessary. He is the clear winner from this trade, but getting out of Brooklyn may have been just a big win for Caris LeVert.

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Health has always been a red flag, but it’s time for him to tap into that potential. A few of his new teammates are having breakout seasons of their own, but he’s about to take off, and the Rockets may have blown it.