NBA regular season

New Pacers guard Caris LeVert sidelined due to mass on kidney

New Pacers guard Caris LeVert sidelined due to mass on kidney

KEY COG. Caris LeVert has averaged 18.5 points for the Nets this season.

Photo by Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Acquired from the Nets in the James Harden four-team trade, Caris LeVert thanks the Pacers for the ‘extreme thoroughness’ during the physical check

Newly acquired Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert will be sidelined indefinitely after a small mass was found on his left kidney during his physical, the team announced Saturday, January 16 (Sunday, January 17, Philippine time).

The mass was discovered during an MRI exam. The club said LeVert will undergo further medical tests.

LeVert was acquired from Brooklyn earlier this week in the four-team deal in which Houston’s James Harden was traded to the Nets.

“On behalf of my family and myself, we want to thank the Indiana Pacers for their support and guidance,” LeVert said in a 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.”

According to The Athletic, the Pacers received a second-round pick and cash to complete the deal after the issue was discovered.

“We acquired Caris because of who he is as a young man first and foremost,” Indiana president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “His basketball skill and on court play speaks for itself and we know he has a great career ahead of him. We will support Caris through this time and know that he will join us on the court as soon as he is able.”

The Pacers said they will reveal more details as warranted during the process.

“Everybody will want a timeline, I won’t do that,” Pritchard said during a virtual news conference. “There are risks in everything but we are comfortable with [what team doctors said].

“We couldn’t be more excited to get Caris here. We’ve had him on our radar for a long time.”

Pritchard said he believes LeVert will play for the team this season. But he declined to answer when reporters asked if the mass was cancerous.

“He’s going to attack this with a smile… and he’s going to beat it,” Pritchard added. “It’s going to be a great story.”

The 26-year-old LeVert averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 12 games (4 starts) this season with the Nets.

The Pacers gave up Victor Oladipo in the swap and LeVert is expected to fill the starting shooting guard position.

Last season, LeVert averaged 18.7 points, 4.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 45 games (31 starts).

The fifth-year pro had averages of 13.1 points, 3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 225 games (96 starts) for the Nets. –

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