Indiana Pacers wing Caris LeVert was one of the major players sent out by the Brooklyn Nets in the multi-team trade that landed the franchise James Harden. The Michigan product had emerged as one of the team’s best young players over the last few years, but it was not a huge surprise that he was included in the Harden deal.
In the deal, LeVert was traded to the Pacers, who sent wing Victor Oladipo down to the Houston Rockets, the team giving up the superstar guard in the deal. During his physical with his new team, a small mass was discovered on his kidney. It may not have been discovered at all, had LeVert not been included in the trade.
At the time, it seemed uncertain that we’d see LeVert play for the Pacers anytime soon. Instead, his comeback has been incredibly impressive.
In late January, he had surgery to remove the mass from his left kidney. Now, just weeks later, he’s set to make his debut against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
After undergoing surgery to remove a small mass on his left kidney in late January, guard Caris LeVert will make his Indiana Pacers debut vs. Phoenix on Saturday, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2021
“LeVert underwent surgery to treat renal cell carcinoma on the kidney upon its discovery in a physical exam shortly after arriving from Brooklyn in four-team trade centered on James Harden,” Woj wrote in a follow-up tweet. “LeVert has been ramping up in recent practices for his return with the Pacers.”
In 12 games with the Nets earlier this season, LeVert averaged 18.5 points, six assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. He’ll be a major asset for the Indiana Pacers, who are hoping to make a playoff push after an up-and-down start to the year. The team is 16-19 and currently tied for the 10th spot, which would put them in the play-in tournament for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
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