NBA Draft

Draft Watch: Caris LeVert still weighing NBA decision

Caris LeVert’s NBA Draft stock has been trending down since his injury, and at least one expert believes the guard should return to Michigan for his senior year.

While Caris LeVert initially predicted his return from surgery to fix a stress fracture in his foot would proceed on schedule, it now appears he’ll need longer than the expected 12-week recovery period.

He attended the Michigan women’s basketball team’s NIT Final Four game on April 1 in a walking boot, and John Beilein told MLive’s Brendan Quinn on Monday that the 6-foot-7 guard won’t be cleared to run until May.

“If you look at his situation last summer, it took a bit for him (to recover from stress fracture surgery in the same foot),” Beilein said.

That may complicate LeVert’s NBA Draft decision, because the deadline to declare is April 26. The NBA Draft combine is May 12-17th, and players participate in team-specific workouts before the NBA Draft on June 25.

The May recovery date still could prepare LeVert to participate in some workouts, but he’d be undoubtedly rusty after missing the last several months.

“Coming back next year would definitely be very fun for me. Very beneficial for me, and the team as well,” LeVert explained in March. “Going to the NBA would also be fun. That’s a lifetime dream. It’s definitely going to be a tough decision.”

At the time, LeVert also said he planned to take until late April to announce his decision. As the deadline nears, though, the junior has seen his name slide down mock drafts.

Beilein and LeVert plan to continue to meet this week discuss his draft stock.

“With the announcement last week with more and more kids coming out, it gives us more information,” Beilein told the Free Press. “That’s all we’re trying to put together and we’ll continue to meet this week.”

Mock Draft Roundup

LeVert’s draft stock has slid gradually and the list of underclassmen wings to declare for the draft seems to grow by the day.

That list includes Kentucky’s Devin Booker and Aaron Harrison, Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Kansas’ Kelly Oubre, Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker, Florida’s Michael Frazier II, Eastern Washington’s Tyler Harvery, Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter, Houston’s Jherrod Stiggers, Florida State’s Aaron Thomas, North Carolina’s J.P. Tokoto and UNLV’s Rashad Vaughn. (H/T: MLive)

Chad Ford wrote recently in a draft chat that he believes Caris LeVert should return to school.

“He should return,” Ford wrote. “His draft stock was trending down before he was injured. Not sure he’d be a first rounder if he declared. He’d need excellent workouts.”

Ford lists LeVert as one of 18 prospects that are still 50-50 on entering the draft, there are six others listed with ‘one foot out the door’ and 30 underclassmen have already declared.

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