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NBA Pacers guard LeVert out after mass found on kidney

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By Agence France-Presse

Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert, obtained in the four-team NBA deal that sent James Harden from Houston to Brooklyn, is out indefinitely with a small mass on his left kidney.

The discovery was made in an MRI exam as part of a physical before the swap involving Houston, Brooklyn and Cleveland was completed, the Pacers said on Saturday.

“LeVert will undergo further medical tests and more details will follow as needed,” the Pacers said in a statement.

LeVert has averaged 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists a game so far in his fifth NBA campaign, all with the Nets, who obtained him in a trade two weeks after the Pacers made him the 20th pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.

“On behalf of my family and myself, we want to thank the Indiana Pacers for their support and guidance,” LeVert said in a 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.”

The Pacers landed LeVert, a 26-year-old American, from Brooklyn, and future second-round NBA Draft choices from both Houston and Cleveland in the blockbuster deal.

“We acquired Caris because of who he is as a young man first and foremost,” Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said. “His basketball skill and on court play speaks for itself. 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’s able.”

The Pacers sent Victor Oladipo to Houston in the swap. The 28-year-old US guard was taken second by Houston in the 2013 NBA Draft.

He joined Indiana in 2017 and has been a major spark in the Pacers’ offense and battled back from a ruptured right knee tendon suffered in January 2019, returning in January 2020.

“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,” Pritchard said.

“These decisions are obviously never easy and this one in particular was hard because of our relationship.”