Caris LeVert is, surprisingly, still a rarity in the NBA. A 6-foot-7-inch point-slash-shooting guard. The former Michigan Wolverine saw his college career cut short in his final season due to a lower leg injury. But the combination of size and ball skills was too much for Brooklyn Nets to pass on with the 20th pick. .
Certainly, LeVert's path to the draft did not come without doubts. It is hard to blame scouts when a guy only plays 33 games in his final two seasons due to injuries, resulting in just eight games against Big Ten competition during that time.Add in that he had to have foot surgery following his sophomore year, and the red flags were forced to be raised.
However, LeVert refused to sit back and let draft assessments define him heading into Thursday night's NBA Draft. LeVert wrote an open letter to NBA General Managers laying out why his injury-plagued college career is an adversity that he is built to overcome.
LeVert was initially a redshirt for the Wolverines in his freshman season, but that was burned 6 games in and LeVert played up-and-down minutes throughout his first season. In his defense, that team was the eventual National Runner-ups with a starting lineup loaded with NBA talent.
In his final three seasons, when healthy, LeVert was a key contributor on the floor. His points, rebounds, and assists averages all climbed steadily between the three seasons. In fact, LeVert was a tenth off a rebound per game away from leading Michigan in all three categories last season.
A summer league appearance is still in question for the combo-guard, as he does not expect to be fully healthy and ready to play for a few more weeks. LeVert has not seen full-speed action since December 30th, with the exception of a failed comeback against the Purdue Boilermakers in February. While the risk with this pick may be considered high, the Brooklyn Nets could very well have left with the steal of the Draft if LeVert can finally stay healthy and reach his initial first round potential.