The news the Nets received on Tuesday was about as good as they could have realistically hoped for. The right leg injury Caris LeVert suffered in Monday night's 120-113 loss to the Timberwolves looked in real time to be on the level of those of Paul George, Isaiah Canaan and Gordon Hayward. Fortunately, an MRI showed that LeVert not only avoided a fracture, but hasn't even lost the rest of this season.
This was obviously great news both for the Nets and for LeVert, who had been in the midst of a breakout season that saw him beginning to blossom into the franchise cornerstone many in the organization had seen him as capable of becoming. With free agency carrying no guarantee of landing a star, the rebuild the Nets have been undertaking for the past half-decade hinges in large part on internal development. Until Monday, LeVert was a shining example of that plan.
By necessity, the Nets have not followed a normal rebuilding blueprint. Thanks to 2013's disastrous Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade, they have been without their own first-round picks for the past four seasons, which prevented them from reloading with blue chip prospects even as they were perennially among the NBA's worst teams...