James Harden might have thought that his trade from the Rockets to the Nets was a godsend. For Caris LeVert, it really might have been.
The Pacers, who acquired LeVert in a four-team deal that also included the Cavaliers, announced on Saturday that the 26-year-old swingman isn’t yet ready to suit up with his new Indiana teammates because an MRI revealed a small mass on his left kidney.
Without the trade, LeVert would not have gotten a physical and had that MRI. Now, he’ll undergo further tests to try to sort out this important medical issue.
“On behalf of my family and myself, we want to thank the Indiana Pacers for their support and guidance,” LeVert said in a statement released by the team. “We are grateful for their extreme thoroughness during the physical process and I am looking forward to joining the team and being part of this great organization as soon as possible.”
The Pacers deserve some kudos here, too, because they could have used the results of the physical to scuttle the trade. But that’s not what Indiana was about here.
“We acquired Caris because of who he is as a young man first and foremost,” Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said. “His basketball skill and on court play speaks for itself and we know he has a great career ahead of him. We will support Caris through this time and know that he will join us on the court as soon as he is able.”
LeVert has had more than his share of health woes in his career, but nothing this scary. His junior and senior seasons at Michigan were cut short by foot and leg injuries; and in 2018 with the Nets, he suffered a dislocated right foot in a scary incident against the Timberwolves that was feared to be much worse at the time.
LeVert was able to return later that season, but he’s only been able to play 60 games in a year once in his career.