NBA: Trade 'possibly saved me in the long run,' says Pacers' LeVert

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 20 2021 09:27 AM

Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Caris LeVert (22) shoots a jump shot over Boston Celtics point guard Jeff Teague (55) during the fourth quarter at TD Garden. File photo. Gregory Fisher, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Caris LeVert is taking a big-picture view of his medical situation.

Acquired by the Indiana Pacers as part of the blockbuster deal involving James Harden, LeVert underwent an MRI that revealed a small mass on his left kidney.

LeVert has had multiple meetings with doctors to discuss treatment after a thorough team physical and medical tests revealed the mass. 

The 26-year-old admitted that he does not know whether the mass is cancerous, but he is aware that the trade may have saved his life.

"I hadn't missed any games this season yet. I was feeling 100 percent healthy," LeVert said. 

"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."

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LeVert, who is sidelined indefinitely, averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.3 rebounds in 12 games (four starts) this season with the Brooklyn Nets. 

The fifth-year pro had averages of 13.1 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 225 games (96 starts) for the Nets.

The Pacers gave up Victor Oladipo in the four-team swap and LeVert is expected to fill the starting shooting guard position.

That can wait, LeVert said.

"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, for me, 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 for me, I think making sure I'm good health-wise is most important. So, as far as timeline and everything like that, we'll definitely figure it out some time in the future. But right now we just don't have those answers."

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