Pacers President Kevin Pritchard Provides Update On Caris LeVert
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indiana Pacers acquired Caris LeVert last week as part of the four-team blockbuster trade that sent NBA superstar James Harden from Houston to the Brooklyn Nets.
During the process to finalize the trade, it was discovered during LeVert's routine physical that he had a growth on his kidney.
During a conference call with reporters, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard shared an update about LeVert's status -- expressing he is 'probably going to have surgery.' A clear timetable for a return to game action is not available at this time, but Pritchard did estimate that LeVert could be 'picking up a basketball' in 'maybe 6-to-8 weeks.'
"We got comfortable with the medical," Pritchard said, via Forbes Sports' Tony East. "We are getting more comfortable every single day. He's probably going to have surgery."
"We will know more in the next 7 days... maybe 6 to 8 weeks he's picking up a basketball."
After the growth on LeVert's kidney was discovered by Pacers doctors, the Nets sent an additional second-round draft pick and $2.6 million in cash to Indiana. The Pacers view this trade as a long-term move since Victor Oladipo, who was in the final year of a four-year contract with the Pacers, was expected to depart in the offseason.
Before being traded to the Pacers, LeVert was off to a strong start to the 2020-21 season. He appeared in 12 games and was averaging 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.
LeVert primarily filled a bench role this season with the returns of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to the lineup. He thrived in the four starts he made this season with averages of 28.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 8.3 assists.
The Pacers will rely on LeVert to fill a pivotal role in their starting lineup once he is able to return. It just remains to be seen how long it will take for that to occur since his recovery will be a fluid process.
Caris LeVert is under contract through the 2022-23 season. He is set to earn $17.5 million in average salary.