Caris LeVert was in Chicago for the NBA Draft combine to meet with NBA teams and their medical staffs last week.
LeVert revealed to the media for the first time that he suffered a Jones fracture, the same injury that plagued Kevin Durant. LeVert is still a month away from being able to participate in on-court work and probably won’t be able to play full court until July. That isn’t an ideal time frame given that the NBA Draft on June 23rd is just over a month away.
LeVert first revealed his the specifics of his injury in a feature story with Yahoo! on his interactions with Kevin Durant.
“It’s been a grueling process since the surgery, staying stress-free, eating well and getting the right amount of sleep,” LeVert told The Vertical. “We have looked at X-rays, and everything has looked up to date. All the doctors are really encouraged by what they see. I heard all of the first-round projections from last year, but right now, I can just speak well in interviews and show myself in X-rays.
LeVert discussed his injury, recovery timeframe, Spike Albrecht at Purdue, Ibi Watson and the current Michigan roster and much more with the media at the NBA Draft Combine. Many of his quotes can be found in these embedded videos from MLive.com (above) and Basketball Insiders (below). An additional clip can also be found at NBA.com.
LeVert participated in interviews and basic measurements — 6-foot-7 with shoes, 6-foot-10 wingspan, 191 pounds — but his medical examinations in Chicago could be most important. The 6-foot-8 senior reported that he’s already talked to 15 teams in the draft process.
Someone is going to have to take a chance on LeVert and his injured foot if he’s going to hear his name on draft day.
CBS Sports calls LeVert one of the losers of the combine because of his health.
LeVert did not play, only interviewed for teams and media. However, during those interviews, he revealed he is still four weeks away from being able to do any on-court work. LeVert’s foot problems have been well-chronicled, and it seems likely they will be flagged by the league during medical testing, should he through it.
That’s a real shame, because on skill alone LeVert is almost assuredly a first-round pick because of his size, shooting ability and ball skill. We’ll see what happens once the medicals come back, but it’s hard to imagine LeVert sneaking into the first if he can’t work out. Now, the question shifts as to whether a team will take a chance on him to see if he can get past injuries.
Currently, LeVert is projected anywhere from late in the first round to somewhere in the second. Draft Express has him slotted at No. 46 in its latest mock draft and NBA Draft.net has him at the tail end of the first round at No. 29.
John Beilein was also in Chicago to support LeVert and focus on player development. He shared some interesting thoughts with the Detroit Free Press regarding Michigan’s recruiting practices and the possibility that Michigan will add one more high-major team to the schedule.
“It helps me as an evaluator, to watch the trends,” Beilein told the Free Press. “You look at a young kid — maybe I thought one of them would be great and maybe I thought one of them had a ways to go. You can track where it is now.”