The Nets will acquire Michigan shooting guard Caris LeVert from the Indiana Pacers after Brooklyn traded Thaddeus Young to Indiana earlier in the day for the No. 20 draft pick.
The Pacers sent their first-round pick to the Nets on Thursday, hours before the draft began, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal could not be announced until the NBA salary cap goes up in July.
LeVert had each of his last two seasons cut short by injuries to his left foot. He has had three surgeries the last two years, including one in March at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. The March surgery was performed by Dr. Martin O'Malley, who also operated on the Nets' Brook Lopez. LeVert wrote about his injury and his background on The Players Tribune earlier this week.
He was at Barclays Center, the home of his new team, dressed in Michigan maize and blue and got a big ovation from the fans when his name was announced as Indiana's pick.
The surgery was done by
LeVert averaged 16.5 points in 15 games as a senior last year and 14.9 in 18 games as a junior.
The Nets are starting a major rebuild under new general manager Sean Marks and new coach Kenny Atkinson, but had no first-round pick in Thursday night's draft. The Celtics held th Nets' pick, No. 3 overall, as Brooklyn (21-61 last season) continues to pay for the 2013 trade that brought Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to New York. Picking up a first-round draft pick gives the Nets another asset to either use for their roster or peddle in trade offers going forward. >> Read more at SNY.tv. . . .
For the second straight year, the Nets are gambling that talent will persevere over a player's injury history. LeVert has been through a lot personally, from losing his father at a young age on Easter, to dealing with foot problems that made his prospect stock drop ahead of the draft. Now, to make Sean Marks' first-ever pick look good, he'll have to overcome adversity one more time.
At 6-7 LeVert has the frame to be successful in the NBA. Draft Express says he can probably play anywhere from the 1 to the 4, and that's versatility that the Nets would really benefit from.
This one could be a steal, but it's all going to depend on the health of LeVert's foot. Let's hope it pans out...