Newly acquired Indiana Pacers guard Caris Levert underwent surgery Monday to treat his renal cell carcinoma, and he is expected to make a full recovery. Levert was part of the blockbuster four-team trade that sent James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets, Levert’s former team, and moved Victor Oladipo to the Houston Rockets.
Prior to the trade, Levert was having a solid start in Brooklyn, averaging 18.5 PPG and 6.0 APG and playing at an All-Star level while Kyrie Irving was in-and-out. Spencer Dinwiddie was sidelined for the rest of the 2020-21 season with a partially torn ACL. So it was kind of shocking when the young Nets fan favorite was included in a trade shipping him off to H-Town.
But Levert acknowledges that, had the deal not happened, things could have possibly ended up direr because full physicals are required when a player is traded. Had it not been for the trade, no one is quite sure when the 26-year-old’s health issues would have been discovered.
“I didn’t have any symptoms. I was playing in games. I hadn’t missed any games this season yet. I was feeling 100 percent healthy,” he said. “So, in a way, this trade definitely showed and revealed what was going on in my body, so I’m definitely looking at it from that side and definitely humbled to know that this trade could’ve possibly saved me in the long run.”
At the moment, there is no fixed timetable for Levert’s return. But he is taking things day-by-day and following the doctor’s orders for when he can make his appearance in a Pacers uniform. “Obviously, I want to play as soon as possible. I’m a competitor; I love to play the game. But for me, I think making sure I’m good healthwise is most important. So, as far as timeline and everything like that, we’ll definitely figure it out sometime in the future. But right now, we just don’t have those answers.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted to his now teammate Kyrie Irving ghosting the team for a bit.