- Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert will be out indefinitely after an issue with his medical exam.
- An MRI revealed a small mass on his left kidney during a team physical prior to the completion of the James Harden trade.
- LeVert averaged 18.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game for the Nets this season.
Indiana Pacers’ guard Caris LeVert is out indefinitely after a small mass was discovered on his left kidney.
In an announcement on Saturday, the Pacers said that the discovery was made during a physical exam the team conducted prior to the finalization of the trade to acquire LeVert. At first, reports only said that there was an issue discovered during his physical but after the mass was confirmed via MRI, the Pacers revealed the actual diagnosis:
Caris LeVert will be out indefinitely after an MRI revealed a small mass on his left kidney during a physical prior to finalizing the four-team trade. LeVert will undergo further medical tests and more details will follow as needed.https://t.co/3HSGQLXTvD
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 16, 2021
The Pacers were compensated with $2.6M plus an additional future second round pick to complete the James Harden trade.
Part of the James Harden Deal
The James Harden trade
Nets receive – James Harden
Pacers receive – Caris LeVert
Cavs receive – Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince
Rockets receive – Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, 4 FRP, 4 pick swaps
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) January 13, 2021
LeVert was one of the players that the Brooklyn Nets had to part with in order to land disgruntled Houston Rockets guard James Harden. Brooklyn likewise sent Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a four-team blockbuster deal that shook the league. The Nets also had to give up four future first round picks and four pick swaps in order to land the 2018 NBA MVP.
It can be recalled that after Harden demanded to be traded, he named the Nets as his first preferred destination. Harden said that he wanted to join Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to form a Big Three in Brooklyn and fast track his ambition to win an NBA title. However, the Rockets were not in a hurry to trade Harden, citing that they were willing to get uncomfortable with him this season in order to find the equitable trade value for him
Houston demanded an All-Star plus a boatload of draft picks in exchange for Harden. At first they wanted either Kyrie or KD from the Nets but that was never going to happen. They tried to dangle Harden elsewhere but could not get what they were looking for. And then Indiana came along and Houston got the All-Star they wanted in Victor Oladipo who was going to be an unrestricted free agent with the Pacers during the coming offseason had he not been traded.
A Good Move
Victor Oladipo is making $21M this season and is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Caris LeVert is making an average of $17.5M for the next three years.
The Pacers got younger, cheaper, and more team control.
WHAT A MOVE? pic.twitter.com/MzA1qsyg6p
— ProCity Hoops (@ProCityHoops) January 13, 2021
Acquiring the LeVert meant that the Pacers got even younger and cheaper. Oladipo was due $21M this season and would have been worth more in the free agent market next summer if the Pacers were lucky enough to re-sign him. Meanwhile, the 26-year old LeVert is under contract for the next three years with an average salary of $17M.
LeVert averaged 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game for the Nets this season. He was coming off his best season in 2019-20 where he put up 18.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game for the Nets and helped the team make the playoffs despite playing without KD and Kyrie. Interestingly, he was the Pacers’ 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft before he was traded to the Nets for Thaddeus Young.
The Indiana Pacers are currently in 2nd place in the Central Division team standings and rank 2nd in the Eastern Conference after a fast 8-4 start. Indiana is a longshot +6000 to win the 2021 NBA title at Bovada and have the 8th best odds to win the Eastern Conference at +3500 at the same online sportsbook.