INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers are unsure if/or when Caris LeVert will play for them this season.
On Saturday evening, the team announced that LeVert will be ‘out indefinitely’ after doctors found a small mass on his left kidney during the medical physical administered to make the trade official. LeVert will now undergo further medical testing.
Pacers team president Kevin Pritchard met the media later on Saturday night, but did not offer a timeline for LeVert’s possible return to the court.
Pritchard, who admitted he’s an “eternal optimist,” said “there’s a chance” that LeVert plays again this season.
LeVert had played in every game he was available to play in for Brooklyn this season.
The small mass—which Pritchard would not comment on if it was cancerous—was discovered during the Pacers’ physical of LeVert earlier this week. The trade, which sent Victor Oladipo to the Rockets, was first announced on Wednesday evening.
After consulting with doctors and discussing things “around 50 times,” Pritchard said, the Pacers stuck with the trade.
“We do believe he can help us in the not-too-distant future,” Pritchard said of the 26-year-old LeVert.
“I’m super confident that we’re going to have him on the court. Everybody will want a timeline. I don’t want to do that. But we expect him on the court.”
Pritchard acknowledged that the Paces are accepting “risk” in going through with this deal, but they feel comfortable moving forward.
“I’ve got a good feeling this is going to be great for the long-term,” Pritchard said.
“We’re excited about continuity over the next few years. We couldn’t be more excited to get Caris here.”
LeVert has still yet to join the Pacers, as the team is wrapping up its western road trip Sunday in Los Angeles.
Because of what was found in LeVert’s physical, the Pacers reportedly received an additional 2nd round pick and $2.6 million in the four-team trade.
In talking with the doctors, Pritchard said LeVert’s optimism upon hearing what was found was something they had never seen in a young person with this diagnosis.
“On behalf of my family and myself, we want to thank the Indiana Pacers for their support and guidance,” LeVert said in a team release. “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.”
“We acquired Caris because of who he is as a young man first and foremost,” Pritchard added in that release. “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.”