Trades can be transformative events in the lives of NBA players, but for Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert, it might have saved his life.
LeVert underwent successful surgery to remove a cancerous mass from his left kidney after it was discovered during physical and medical tests as part of the four-way trade that brought James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.
The 26-year-old former Net is expected to make a full recovery following the surgery to treat the renal cell carcinoma on his kidney on Tuesday, the Pacers announced.
"This trade could've possibly saved me in the long run," LeVert said last week.
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"I didn't have any symptoms. As you know, I was playing in games. I hadn't missed any games this season yet. I was feeling 100 percent healthy, so in a way this trade definitely showed and revealed what was going on in my body."
The Pacers has pledged to support LeVert, who will remain out indefinitely, throughout the process of recovery with no time frame set on his return.
"I've always known Caris from afar, I've never known him as a person," Pacers center Myles Turner told ESPN. "I've always heard great things about him, obviously as a basketball player and an individual, so I think that's what we have in this culture.
"He's gonna fit so perfectly whenever that is, but right now we're not really worried about basketball with him. We want him to continue to fight through this. I think it was a real win for the organisation."
LeVert averaged 18.5 points and six assists per game this season with the Nets before getting traded to the Pacers.