INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers’ Victor Oladipo-Caris LeVert trade is now official, but the new guard’s Indiana debut will be on hold.
An MRI shows a small mass on the 26-year-old’s left kidney. He will be out indefinitely to undergo more tests.
“On behalf of my family and myself, we want to thank the Pacers for their support and guidance,” LeVert said in a team statement. “We are grateful for their extreme thoroughness during the physical process and I am looking forward to joining the team and being part of this great organization as soon as possible.”
“We acquired Caris because of who he is as a young man first and foremost,” said Pacers president Kevin Pritchard. “His basketball skill and on court play speaks for itself and we know he has a great career ahead of him. We will support Caris through this time and know that he will join us on the court as soon as he is able.”
Pritchard added on a Saturday night Zoom call that he’s an optimist and believes there’s a chance LeVert will be able to play this season.
The MRI was part of a physical before the four-team trade with the Rockets, Nets and Cavaliers was finalized. News of the deal first broke on Wednesday evening.
The Pacers sent Oladipo to Houston for LeVert and cash from Brooklyn. They’ll also receive a future second round draft pick from the Rockets and a future second rounder from the Cavs.
Indiana originally drafted LeVert in 2016 before shipping him to the Nets. He’s spent five seasons in Brooklyn, scoring 13.1 points per game. He’s averaging 18.5 PPG in 12 games this season.
“He’s a versatile young talent who we think will be a great fit with the direction our team is taking,” Pritchard said. “He can play multiple positions and affect the game at both ends of the floor.”
Oladipo’s spent parts of four seasons in Indiana after being a part of the Paul George trade with Oklahoma City in 2017, earning two trips to the NBA All-Star Game.
“We want to thank Victor for what he gave to the Pacers through his play, his diligence in rehab coming back from a serious injury and his community efforts,” added Pritchard. “These decisions are obviously never easy and this one, in particular, was hard because of our relationship.”