How well does Caris LeVert have to play to permanently unseat DeMarre Carroll from the starting small forward position? He’s already averaging a similar amount of points (12 PPG) in fewer minutes, and gets way more assists. Carroll’s got that whole “gritty defensive mindset” reputation going for him, but the dude’s not even shooting 40% from the field, probably because his braids keep falling out of their holder thing and swinging in his face. LeVert is both shooting above 40% from the field and has hair that doesn’t hinder him in any way.
Also keep in mind that Carroll is not, and was never going to be, the long-term solution for the Nets. He’s done developing. He’s actually in the process of un-developing. Meanwhile, LeVert has recently upped the quality of his play by a significant amount, and we don’t know yet how high he can go.
Maybe LeVert is the unofficial ball-handler for the second unit. That’s cool. But I want him to steal all of Carroll’s minutes, play with the other starters (who are theoretically easier to get assists to than the bench guys), and see if he can average 15/5 in the new year.