One of the more discouraging points during Tuesday’s press conference came when Sean Marks was asked about Caris LeVert’s progress.
The Nets GM said LeVert is “progressing well” but added that he saw no need to rush the 6’7” swingman back early on.
The Nets first round pick is recovering from surgery for a “Jones fracture” of his foot, the same kind of break that so troubled Brook Lopez. Like Lopez, LeVert has suffered multiple breaks and like Lopez, LeVert’s surgeon is Dr. Martin O’Malley, the Nets foot and ankle surgeon.
How much time will LeVert miss? No one is saying, but we know he underwent foot reconstruction surgery in March, graduated from Michigan in May on crutches, was in a walking boot until shortly before the June draft and didn’t even begin tread mill work until the third week in July.
LeVert said at the time of the draft that he hoped to be ready for training camp, but one of the cardinal rules of sports journalism is never put much faith in a player’s own evaluation of his health.
Still, as Mike Scotto tweeted Wednesday, Marks has great faith in the 20th pick, which cost him Thaddeus Young.
Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks explained why he specifically targeted Caris LeVert in the draft and traded Thaddeus Young to get him. QUOTE: pic.twitter.com/zzOxNt4H0r— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) September 21, 2016
The phrase, “long, long road,” of course, was the one that caught everyone’s eye, not that he’s “progressing well,” with writers speculating what that means. It does appear that LeVert could be on the bench for a significant part of the season.
And as Marks noted at another point in the press conference, the Nets have three rotation players who didn’t play anywhere near a full season last year: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough and Sean Kilpatrick. So they’re used to it.
The Nets did get other benefits out of the deal with Indiana: a net pick-up of $12.57 million in cap space —the difference between Young’s salary and Levert’s— this year and again next. The Nets also acquired a Pacers’ future second round pick, as long as Indiana finishes in the lottery.
Expect a lot of medical updates.