No one has more invested in Caris LeVert than Nets general manager Sean Marks, who traded Thaddeus Young for the 20th pick in his first draft in 2016 in order to take a chance on a kid from Michigan who was recovering from his third foot surgery. In the past, Marks said he risked it because, after meeting LeVert, he concluded, "That’s a Brooklyn Net.”
In other words, the template.
So, when he saw LeVert’s right leg bend hideously above the ankle Monday night in Minneapolis, imagine the feeling in the pit of Marks’ stomach. “I’m not sure you can print that or put it into words,” Marks said of his initial reaction before the Nets faced the Heat Wednesday night at Barclays Center. “It’s heart-wrenching first and foremost for Caris and all the work he’s put in to get to that point. The emotions were definitely a roller coaster, but we’re obviously happy for the outcome.”
LeVert was diagnosed with a dislocated ankle and minor ligament damage but will not have to undergo surgery and is expected to return later this season. Per his custom, Marks declined to put a timeline on the recovery. “The bottom line is he’ll be back, and we’ll be patient,” Marks said.
Dr. Martin O’Malley, who performed LeVert’s third foot surgery before the Nets drafted him, was emphatic about LeVert returning to “full basketball activities” this season. “When he says that’s what he expects, he’s obviously seen these things before,” Marks said. “We’ve done our research on what the expectations may be. We’re taking it one day at a time and supporting Caris and his family.”
LeVert attended the game and was said by Marks to be in good spirits. “He was in here with his teammates earlier today, which is terrific,” Marks said. “He wants to be around the team, and he’s welcome as much as he can. A little inhibited by his mobility now, but it’s terrific to see him around.”