Caris LeVert is Ready for What's Next with the Brooklyn Nets
As Nets roster is reshaped, guard checks out Summer League squad
LAS VEGAS — Caris LeVert made three, as he joined Spencer Dinwiddie and Taurean Prince — who were in UNLV’s Cox Pavilion for Friday’s game as well — courtside Sunday afternoon to see the Brooklyn Nets Summer League squad beat Croatia, 74-58.
When the 2019-20 season begins, the young guard will be the longest-tenured Net, along with Joe Harris, both acquired in the summer of 2016. That was one of the results of the flurry of deals that brought major change to the Brooklyn roster.
“Obviously very excited, on both ends,” said LeVert. “I feel like we got a lot better as a team. And obviously you hate to see somebody like D’Angelo (Russell) go. He was great for our organization, obviously one of my best friends as well. But good to see him get paid, good team as well. So I think both sides did a good job.”
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan lead the list of LeVert’s new teammates, and his friendship with Durant is something that goes back several years. LeVert said he fielded a few calls from Durant asking about the city and the organization, but he didn’t put on any recruiting push himself.
“I really didn’t, honestly,” said LeVert. “We have a good friendship, but I never really pressured him about it or that type of stuff. When he got hurt I reached out, kind of made sure he was OK and everything like that. But obviously he knows that he’s a great player, he knows that I would love to play with him. But I kind of left him alone with that stuff.”
Ultimately, LeVert said, the organization sold itself.
“I think we do things the right way and they saw the progression each and every year,” said LeVert. “Since I’ve been here we’ve gotten a lot better each and every year. I think it’s the way that the players talk about the organization as well. The fans and the arena. I think was a selling point.”
With all the new arrivals, the Nets have retained much of the younger core that helped drive last season’s return to the playoffs, and at the center of that is LeVert. He was on his way to a breakout season before a foot dislocation suffered in November sidelined him for three months. He returned in February, and by the time the end of the regular season rolled around, he was back in form.
In the five game playoff series against Philadelphia, LeVert averaged 21.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 49.3 percent overall and 46.2 percent from 3-point range.
He’ll have a new backcourt partner in Irving, but with all the new faces, but LeVert isn’t worried about how the pieces fit together.
“Doing whatever it takes to win,” said LeVert. “I think that’s been my role since I’ve gotten here and I think that’s always going to be my role.”
Really, LeVert seems typically ready to roll with the flow in any circumstance. He’s not even worried about the added scrutiny for a team that has added three All-NBA players.
“I don’t think there will be any pressure,” said LeVert. “Basketball is a fun game.”
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