INDIANAPOLIS — The newest member of the Pacers is dealing with more than just adjusting to a new team.
Caris LeVert came to the Pacers from the Brooklyn Nets as part of a multi-team deal that sent Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets. It's uncertain when he will actually take to the court for Indiana.
That's because LeVert, who's from the Columbus, Ohio area and went to the University of Michigan, is dealing with a medical issue. During the physical he took before joining the Pacers, a mass was discovered on LeVert's left kidney.
"We'll know more within the next couple of days or next week or so," LeVert told reporters at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Tuesday. "But that's what it is right now and we are just adjusting accordingly to that. That's obviously big news for myself and my family, so trying to navigate through the next options and what to do because of that is the next steps."
Had he not had the exam, the mass would not have been discovered, at least not right away. "I didn't have any symptoms. I was playing games. I hadn't missed any games yet this season. I was feeling 100% healthy. In a way this trade definitely showed and revealed what was going on in my body. I am definitely looking at it from that side and definitely humbled to know that this trade could have saved me in the long run."
In fact, LeVert was more than just playing, he was playing very well, averaging 18 points per-game for Brooklyn, where he was in his fifth season. Now he's not sure whether he will be on the court for Indiana during the remainder of this season. "For me, the most important thing is to get my body healthy and make sure I live a long life. 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."
"It's definitely a crazy couple of days and it's going to be, you know, a crazy recovery as well. But I think myself and the Pacers organization is really optimistic about the future," LeVert said.
The big question is whether the mass is cancerous. "I haven't gotten anything removed yet. Like I said we are still waiting for more results and things like that to see what is next. We don't know if its cancerous yet."
LeVert said the fact that the Pacers went through with the trade knowing there was a medical issue says a lot about the organization. "Not only how good the people they are, but how much they believe in me, my game. So that was huge for me to see that. I just can"t wait to get healthy and get back on the court"