Caris LeVert: Trade to Pacers ‘may have saved me in the long run’

Pacers guard/forward Caris LeVert drives to the basket as a member of the Nets.

Indiana Pacers newcomer Caris LeVert was feeling great at the time of a trade from the Brooklyn Nets — which is why he said he was surprised that a small mass was discovered on his kidney.

“I didn’t have any symptoms. I was playing in games. I hadn’t missed any games this season yet. I was feeling 100 percent healthy,” LeVert told reporters. “So, in a way, this trade definitely showed and revealed what was going on in my body

“So I’m definitely looking at it from that side and definitely humbled to know that this trade could’ve possibly saved me in the long run.”

LeVert, 26, is a 6-foot-6 guard/forward and was drafted by the Nets with the No. 20 overall pick in 2016. He was averaging 18.5 points and career-highs 6.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds at the time of the trade. An MRI during a routine physical revealed the mass on his kidney.

Once healthy, the Pacers believe LeVert can help fill the void of former star Victor Oladipo, traded to the Houston Rockets as part of the deal.

He will join point guard Malcolm Brogdon, small forward T.J. Warren, center Myles Turner and All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis, giving the Pacers an underrated, yet formidable, starting five.

But right now, it’s all about getting better.

“To me, the most important thing is to get my body healthy and make sure I live a long life,” LeVert said. “Before basketball, I think that’s the most important thing. So I’m not really looking at that side of things.

“Obviously, I want to play as soon as possible. I’m a competitor; I love to play the game. But I think making sure I’m good healthwise is most important. So, as far as timeline and everything like that, we’ll definitely figure it out sometime in the future. But right now, we just don’t have those answers.”

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of FortyEight Minutes. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for OutKick, Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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