Those who know him best — those who competed against him and played with him — think that when ready, Caris LeVert will open some eyes.
One of those players is Yogi Ferrell, who played against LeVert for four years in the Big 10, Ferrell for Indiana, LeVert for Michigan. In fact, in a conversation Friday at Long Island Nets Media Day, Ferrell described him as someone who was formerly an “enemy.” Now, they’re good friends in Brooklyn. Ferrell did not mince words when asked about what LeVert can bring to the Nets.
“He’s got game!” said Ferrell, smiling. “That’s for sure.”
“i even knew he had game at Michigan. It sucks that he was hurt for his last two years collegiately.
“He’s just now getting back to his old self. I expect great things from him. He’s a slasher. he can knock down the open shot. He definitely creates problems for the defense.”
Glenn Robinson III played with LeVert at Michigan and visited with him when the Pacers played the Nets. He told Greg Logan that LeVert is healing well and confident in his game. He went further than Ferrell.
“Brooklyn couldn’t have gotten a better pick,” Robinson said. “I’ve always compared him to a Jamal Crawford type. He’s skinny, long and he has a good handle. He’s one of my picks to be one of the best rookies this year. I think Brooklyn will really be happy with their pick. It’s scary how good he can be.”
So how soon? Ten days ago, on Sirius XM, LeVert was asked about his return date: “Probably within the next couple of weeks…We’re right there right now.”
That doesn’t mean he’ll be back on court, filling in at the 1, 2 and 3 immediately. The Nets can be expected to ease the 6’7” swingman back into play.
“The most important thing is getting healthy. Thats the thing the coaches and the vets have told me, guys like Randy Foye,” LeVert added.
The Nets have not set any timetable for his return. Their only announcement came a month ago when they released a statement that that LeVert has started “limited” practice, although they didn’t define exactly what that means and wouldn’t project beyond that. There were reports shortly afterwards that he was playing three-on-three, but nothing since.
It will take more than just rehab for LeVert to get back on the court. He hasn’t played since December 30 and underwent foot reconstruction surgery in March. Dr. Martin O’Malley, the Nets foot-and-ankle specialist, took a piece of his hip bone and grafted it on to his left foot. It was his third foot surgery in 22 months, but O’Malley assured LeVert this one, far more extensive than the previous two, would “take.”
One possibility for the All-Big 10 star is a tour with the Long Island Nets, whose season opens Friday in Chicago and whose home opener at Barclays Center is 12 days after that on November 23. Until the Nets provide more details, it’s a waiting game.