The Brooklyn Nets traded into the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday afternoon, sending Thaddeus Young to the Indiana Pacers for the 20th pick in the draft. And with that pick, they selected Caris LeVert out of Michigan.
LeVert is 6-7, a senior out of Michigan. He has a three surgeries in less than two years -- the good news? The Nets team doctor, Martin O'Malley, was also LeVert's doctor. When healthy, though, he's a lottery talent.
When healthy, LeVert (6-foot-7, 190 pounds) was an All-Conference player for the Wolverines, but health was an issue the last few seasons. He has had three surgeries on the same foot and finished his last two years at Michigan in street clothes and a walking boot.
Despite all of this, he has a look of a player that could stick in the league due to his versatility and skill-set that he brings to the table. He has the ability to run the point or play on the wing. He does a lot of things well, but nothing particularly stands out as his signature attribute.
The three-point shot is as important as it has ever been in the NBA and LeVert certainly can knock them down. He has shot 40.1 percent from long range in his career. LeVert has been a player that has always filled out a stat sheet, even when his shots are not falling. He is a very good rebounding guard due to his length and is a skilled passer, displaying good court vision and getting his teammates involved.
So, he's a lottery talent who is injury-prone. "If healthy" is going to be something we'll hear a lot about him.
Like Brook Lopez and Kevin Durant and more than 20 NBA players, Levert has been a patient of the Nets foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Martin O'Malley. Earlier this year, KD reached out to LeVert to offer him encouragment, according to the Michigan media.
"He just said 'Once Doc finishes with you, you'll be like brand new,'" LeVert said at the NBA draft combine. "He told me just to stay with the course, it's a long process, but just stay with it, don't get anxious." Here's a look at his DraftExpress scouting report from 2014-15 when he considered going out for the Draft.
On Wednesday, LeVert wrote a letter to NBA GMs on The Players Tribune. Here's an excerpt... noting how the early death of his father had been a far bigger challenge than his foot injury...
A foot injury? A walking boot? That’s not going to hold me down. After everything I’ve been through, I’m well-equipped to overcome challenges, believe me. Actually, wait, don’t believe me. Give me a few more minutes, and let me convince you.
He wrote about how basketball helped him get beyond the pain and the grief. And how Dr. O'Malley has given him the all-clear...
I had surgery with Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. He’s one of the best there is, the same doctor who operated on Kevin Durant’s foot last year. KD and I both had a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal, and we both got fixed up by the same specialist.
It’s been 13 weeks since the surgery, and my foot is good now. I just got my latest round of X-rays and CT scans back the other day, and Dr. O’Malley told me that I’m fully healed. He’s confident that I’ll be able to come back strong, and, really, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
In an interview with ESPN Radio, LeVert said he thanked God for making it into the first round and said of the Nets, "I'm happy to be part of this team. Its a great organization, a great city."
It's been a day of surprises and risks for the Nets ... and its not over yet.
- Nets to get LeVert after dealing Young to Pacers for No. 20 - AP
- Nets Acquire Caris LeVert and Send Thaddeus Young to Pacers - Benjamin Hoffman - New York Times
- Caris LeVert, Nets (Audio) - ESPN Radio
- Injuries hurt LeVert's draft stock (Video) - Myron Metcalfe & Amin Elhassan - ESPN
- NBA Draft: Nets land Caris LeVert after trading Thaddeus Young to Pacers for 20th pick - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- Nets target backcourt, draft LeVert - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets select Seton Hall's Whitehead in second round - J.P. Pelzman - The Record
- Post-Draft Roundtable: Thaddeus Young, Caris LeVert, and Isaiah Whitehead - The Brooklyn Game
- Draft: Nets trade for #42, select Seton Hall's Isaiah Whitehead - Benny Nadeau - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets use No. 20 pick on fragile Michigan guard Caris LeVert - Joseph Staszewski - New York Post
- Isaiah Whitehead stays home with Nets: ‘Dream come true’ -Zach Braziler - New York Post
- Nets’ Draft Day Trade A Case Of Poor Marks-Manship - Steve Lichtenstein- CBS New York