LeVert Out After Mass Found
Last week the Indiana Pacers acquired forward Caris LeVert from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for sending Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets.
It’s unclear when or if LeVert will suit up for the team this season after a mass was found on his left kidney during a physical examination.
The Pacers announced the news on Saturday and announced that LeVert would undergo further tests to determine what type of mass was found. This could have voided the trade, but the Pacers agreed to complete the deal, although it was modified after this diagnosis.
Indiana also received a second-round draft pick from both the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the deal. The Brooklyn Nets sent Indiana an additional $2.6 million cash to complete the trade after the mass was found during the physical.
The Pacers President of Basketball Operations, Kevin Pritchard, was optimistic and confident that LeVert will return to the team at some point this season. The team is willing to support LeVert during this time, and they will provide team staff and doctors to help with the diagnosis.
LeVert has also issued a statement acknowledging the Pacers’ support and expressing his desire to return to the court as early as possible. The results of the further tests will determine just how quickly the forward will be able to rejoin the team.
Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren played an integral role in the Pacers targeting LeVert in a trade after going against him last year in the playoffs when he was an assistant with the Raptors. Losing Oladipo is a massive blow for the Pacers in the short-term, but LeVert is viewed as a long-term building block of the team.
Before the trade, LeVert was averaging 18.5 points and six assists per game with the Brooklyn Nets. The Pacers enter play on Tuesday night with an 8-5 record and are in third place in the Eastern Conference.
Oladipo had gotten off to a solid start with the Pacers this season, but it became clear to the team that he no longer wanted to remain in Indiana.
Turner Fractures Right Hand
The Indiana Pacers are also dealing with another injury, and it will leave them shorthanded for the next few games. Impactful center Myles Turner has been diagnosed with a fracture in his right hand, and the team has announced that he will be out of the lineup.
Turner suffered the injury on January 14 in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The team confirmed that the center is meeting with hand specialists but is expected to be a limited participant in practice on Tuesday.
Earlier this season, Turner set a new Pacers franchise record with 17 blocks through the first three games of the season. Roy Hibbert set the previous record with 13 during the 2013-14 season.
Turner currently leads the NBA with 4.2 blocks per game, and his absence will be felt on the defensive end of the floor.
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