Caris LeVert profile
Drafted #20 in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Nets
Height: 6'7" (201 cm)
Weight: 191 lbs (87 kg)
Position: PG/SG
High School: Pickerington High School Central (Ohio)
Hometown: Pickerington, OH
College: Michigan
Current Team: Cavaliers
Win - Loss: 53 - 41
Caris LeVert 2016 NBA Draft Scouting Video - Strengths


Caris LeVert NBA Draft Scouting Report and Video Breakdown

Josh Riddell
Josh Riddell
Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Mar 14, 2016, 12:23 pm
Scouting Report by Josh Riddell. Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz

For the second straight season, Michigan's Caris LeVert had his season cut short by an injury. Last year, a broken left foot caused him to miss the final 14 games of his junior season, the same foot he had already had surgery on due to a stress fracture. Now as a senior, LeVert was diagnosed with a lower left leg injury (which Michigan claims is ”unrelated” to his previous foot problems) that saw him play just 19 of his team's final 20 games, bringing his total games played in the past two seasons to 31, just 45% of possible games.

Although Michigan has been mysteriously secretive about what part of LeVert's left leg caused him to miss the final two months of the season, it's difficult not to connect the injury to his previous foot problems. LeVert, while once looking close to returning to action, ultimately decided to sit out the end of his senior season to mitigate the risk of any further injury. Somewhat encouragingly, he is openly discussing doing physical activity with NBA teams in coming months. Now he turns to the pre-draft process, including workouts and physicals, which will be crucial for him after missing so many games the past two seasons. Scouts and their organizations will have an adequate sample of games to evaluate him on, but will want up to date information and their medical staff's input after this latest injury.

LeVert's height, measured at 6'7”, is his best physical asset and one of the main reasons NBA teams are excited about him. He has the potential to play anywhere from the point guard spot to the small forward position, but looks to fit best as a combo guard at the next level. His size allows him to shoot or pass over smaller defenders as he can easily see the floor.

The rest of his physical profile doesn't have any single overly impressive feature, but his overall package puts him on par with many NBA guards. He has a thin frame, and as a senior, it's difficult to see him adding too much more bulk to his frame, which leaves him vulnerable to be overpowered by bigger players, particularly defensively. He is a very fluid and mobile athlete when healthy, both getting up and down the floor and moving laterally, but he doesn't possess elite explosiveness, particularly finishing in traffic.

Although he is a senior, he is young for his class as he is the youngest senior in our top-100 rankings, and younger than a handful of juniors in our top 100.

Offensively, LeVert is a jack of all trades. It starts with his jumper, and he has developed into an excellent outside shooter over the past three years. He knocked down 40% of his three point attempts in his college career, and has a fluid stroke that shows he should be able to translate his performance to the NBA line. He converted 47.1% of his 34 total catch and shoot opportunities in his senior season according to Synergy Sports Technology.

Working off the dribble, he shows flashes of potential that could translate to the NBA but has never been able to develop this part of his game with any consistency. Lacking strength, aggressiveness and a consistent pull-up jumper, LeVert has never looked comfortable as a go-to guy creator that a team can rely upon in the half-court with the shot clock winding down. He can attack closeouts off the bounce and he has a nice first step that allows him to get by his defender into space, but has struggled to make shots off the dribble throughout his college career, converting just 62 of his 222 attempts (28%) over the past four years according to Synergy Sports Technology, a far cry from his blistering ability as a catch and shoot threat. This will be key for his development, as he isn't always strong or explosive enough to get into the paint, and will need to be able to make pull-ups if he's handling the ball in a combo guard role at the NBA level.

LeVert's quick first step does allow him to straight line drive to the rim when he has a clear path, but he isn't able to maneuver through a crowded lane off the dribble. He has a tendency to avoid contact around the rim, stopping short of the rim protectors to shoot a contested floater or attempting to avoid the defense altogether, which causes him to put up an off-balance shot attempt. Combining this with his inability to consistently shoot pull-up jumpers and he may struggle to create offense for himself at the next level, delegating him to more of a spot-up and secondary facilitator type role.

Where LeVert shows the potential to do more than just that is with passing ability. His 6.6 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted ranked eighth among prospects in our top-100 rankings. He takes care of the ball, turning it over only 2.1 times per 40 minutes pace adjusted. He has shown nice vision to find his teammates off penetration and displayed good decision making to make the right decision to pass or shoot. Although he may not always be able to create good looks for himself, he should be able to find teammates if he can draw the help defense on his drives to boost his team's offense.

With his physical tools, it's difficult to project LeVert as a staunch defender at the next level. His height and wingspan could allow him to guard bigger guards, but his thin frame can get overpowered on drives or inside the paint. He may be able to bother smaller point guards but he isn't the quickest player laterally, which hurts his ability to stay in front of penetration at times. He'll need to work on staying in a fundamental stance defensively to maximize his chances of defending the perimeter. He does put in a high level of effort on this side of the ball and looks committed to making an impact. While unlikely to emerge as a lockdown type in the short term, his coaching staff will know he will compete and continuously look to get better, particularly as his frame improves.

The medical examinations that NBA teams will perform on LeVert will be the most important part of his pre-draft process. Depending on how each team feels about the status of his foot, this could significantly raise or lower his draft stock. Teams will be especially cautious with his injury history, as a serious foot injury can significantly slow a player's career, as we have seen numerous times in the past.

When he has been on the floor, LeVert has proven he is a versatile passer and spot-up shooter with the potential to play multiple positions, which is very much in demand in today's NBA. If he can find a way to stay healthy in the long term, LeVert could certainly emerge as a key role player for a NBA team with all that he is able to offer.
More DX Scouting Reports and Video Breakdowns:
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-Estudiantes' Juan Hernangomez
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Top NBA Prospects in the Big 10, Part 3: Caris LeVert Scouting Video

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Oct 21, 2015, 12:49 pm
Mike Schmitz continues our coverage of the top NBA prospects in the Big Ten with a video scouting report of the #3 prospect in the conference, Michigan's Caris LeVert.
More DX Conference Preseason Previews:
-The Top 20 NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-12
-The Top 20 NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East
-The Top 15 NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 12
-The Top 20 NBA Draft Prospects in the SEC
-The Top 10 NBA Draft Prospects in the AAC
-The Top 30 NBA Draft Prospects in the ACC

Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big 10
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten, Part One
(#1) Diamond Stone (Scouting Video)
-Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big Ten, Part Two
(#2) Thomas Bryant (Scouting Video)
(#3) Caris LeVert, 6'7, Senior, Guard, Michigan

Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out his archive. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.

NBA Draft Prospect of the Week: Caris LeVert

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Jan 22, 2015, 04:43 pm
Scouting Report by Jonathan Givony, Video Analysis by Mike Schmitz

Already in the midst of a somewhat underwhelming season, Caris LeVert was delivered a major setback this week learning he suffered a “complete fracture” of his left foot, which will require a second surgery and another 12 weeks off basketball activities. The injury ends LeVert's junior season after just 17 games, with his Michigan team stumbling to a 10-7 start, including losses to NJIT, Eastern Michigan, SMU and Purdue.

While this is certainly an obstacle to his professional aspirations, it might not be a deal-breaker as far as the 2015 NBA Draft is concerned. Scouts have had over 50 games the past season and a half to evaluate LeVert as a prospect against some of the best competition in college basketball, and as long as his foot heals accordingly, he should be able to participate in some or all of the NBA pre-draft settings teams like to put players through in the lead-up to draft night.

As a 6-7 guard who can essentially play all three backcourt positions, LeVert certainly has his strong points as a pro prospect. He's a highly skilled offensive player, showing the ability to handle the ball, operate smoothly at different speeds, find the open man in a variety of situations, and finish plays with a soft touch. LeVert could be viewed by teams as a sort of poor man's Dante Exum, a big, versatile guard who is unselfish and smart and can be used alongside a variety of different types of players, be it on or off the ball. His ability to handle the ball in transition, as well as in pick and roll and isolation situations is very intriguing at his size, and unlike many big guards, he has very good mechanics on his jumper and is consistent in catch and shoot situations.

Because of his size, solid length, quick feet, and strong anticipation skills, LeVert also has nice potential and versatility defensively. He has shown the ability to stay in front of point guards at the college level, and even though he currently lacks the strength to contain some of the bigger and more physical wings he'll encounter in the NBA, he has a young frame that should continue to fill out as he matures in the next few years.

As someone who was barely an afterthought on most NBA scouts' notebooks just a year ago, LeVert obviously has things he needs to work on. The first, and something we touched on, is his immature frame, which is typical of many late-bloomers in his mold. This affects him as a finisher around the basket, where he converted just 50% of his attempts this season, and 48% last year. He tends to shy away from contact at times and doesn't appear to be the toughest player in the world, often settling for pull-up jumpers in the mid-range area rather than taking the ball strong all the way to the rim, evidenced by his poor free throw rate (4.1 attempts per-40).

His lack of strength is also a hindrance defensively. He tends to get pushed around at times by stronger players, especially when he's used at the small forward position, which he frequently was this year alongside the extremely undersized backcourt duo of Spike Albrecht and Derrick Walton. He'll have to continue to add weight to his frame to hold his own against NBA players.

LeVert's mid-range game is not a strength of his at this point, as he's far more comfortable in catch and shoot situations (44%, 61/138 as a sophomore and junior) then he is pulling up off the dribble (25%, 47/186). Considering his limitations as a finisher around the basket, this is something he'll have to continue to work on to not be rendered a one-dimensional player in the NBA.

Even before his injury, there were some concerns about drafting LeVert too high due to his somewhat passive nature. He didn't look comfortable as Michigan's go-to guy this season, as he's clearly better suited as being a complimentary player who can contributes with his versatility and intelligence rather than being the focal point of an offense.

Despite being a junior, LeVert is still fairly young, not turning 21 until the end of August, which makes him younger than six of the 22 sophomores in our top-100 rankings, and only six months older than some of the freshmen even. His youth and extremely immature frame (he reportedly came to Michigan weighing just 162 pounds) almost led him to being redshirted as a freshman until the coaching staff decided to expand the rotation in December. With that in mind, it's not out of the question to wonder if LeVert still has significant room for improvement over the next few years, far more than your typical college junior. His frame has made major strides, and he's improved by leaps and bounds since arriving at Michigan. Clearly his work ethic is outstanding.

That same work ethic may have been his downfall over the past year or so, though. He missed much of the summer with a stress reaction in his left foot that required surgery, and now saw that same foot suffer an outright fracture. NBA teams will want to take a close look at his physical to figure out how much of an issue that may or may not be for him down the road.

LeVert will need to decide now whether or not to return to Michigan for his senior season. The feedback he gets from NBA teams in the next few months will likely play a large role in that. While this is not considered a weak draft at the moment, it does look fairly shallow at the guard positions, which could help LeVert's stock.

All of our video scouting reports this season can be found here.

Stanley Johnson vs Zak Irvin and Caris LeVert Video Analysis

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Dec 16, 2014, 02:19 pm

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Top NBA Prospects in the Big Ten, Part 2: Caris LeVert Scouting Video

Mike Schmitz
Mike Schmitz
Oct 06, 2014, 12:09 pm

Mike Schmitz is the video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out the DraftExpress video section. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.

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