The worst part of the James Harden trade for the Brooklyn Nets, was them having to part ways with their rising star Caris LeVert. Caris was traded to the Houston Rockets in a trade that landed James Harden in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. He would eventually end up in Indiana as the Rockets traded him to the Pacers for Victor Oladipo moments later. It turns out that being traded from the Nets just might have saved Caris’ life.
MRI Reveals Small Mass on Caris LeVert’s Kidney
For all trades to be made official players must pass a team physical. The results of Caris’s MRI showed that he had a small mass on his left kidney, something that may have never been found if not for the trade. The news was first reported by The Athletic and he released a statement shortly after.
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“On behalf of my family and myself, we want to thank the Indiana Pacers for their support and guidance,” Caris said in the statement. “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.”
Caris’s Potential Was Noticed Around the League
Caris was one of the stars of the NBA Bubble. In Orlando, he averaged 25.0 points, 6.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in just 33 minutes of play. Stars such as Blazers guard Damian Lillard expected him to take off even further in Indiana. On the season he was putting up 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game off of the bench. Steve Nash, his now-former coach compared him to Manu Ginobili at the start of training camp. “He’s so good with the ball in his hands that there’s a case to be made that he plays that Manu Ginobili role,” he said. Unfortunately, all of that will have to be put on a temporary hold.
Pacers President Shows Support for LeVert
Pacers President Kevin Pritchard also released a statement in support of Caris. “We acquired Caris because of who he is as a young man first and foremost,” he said in the statement. After receiving the news of the mass on Caris’s kidney, Pritchard and the Pacers chose to move forward with the trade. Much like Brooklyn did with Kevin Durant, Indiana is putting their trust in LeVert. Although he may not be able to help now, he will at some point down the road. “We were hopeful, and it may not be today that he can help us,” The Pacers President said. “But we do believe that there’s a chance he can help us in the not-so-distant future. And that’s what got us comfortable in that there’s a risk, we’re willing to accept that risk, but there’s also a human element that I felt like we could jump in there, put our hands on him, trust our community. Modern medicine is incredible”