Caris LeVert is excited about the future of the Brooklyn Nets. The 23-year-old told reporters on Thursday that it’s “really realistic” that the Nets can make the playoffs this season, especially after the team acquired D’Angelo Russell this offseason.
LeVert told the New York Post that he’s back and ready to contribute to the Nets, a team that — when healthy — he feels is one of the best in the conference.
“I feel like it’s really realistic,” said LeVert, echoing recent sentiments of teammate Jeremy Lin, with whom he toured Taiwan this summer. “Last year, we were like top seven in the East when we had all our players healthy. Just building off that momentum with the pieces we’ve added — obviously we lost a great player in Brook [Lopez] — but I feel with the pieces we’ve added we’ll be in that conversation.”
Getting healthy is a big part of that optimism for LeVert, who has dealt with a number of injuries over the last few summers. He knows he needs to stay on the court to make a difference after a number of foot surgeries. But LeVert is optimistic about what Russell brings to the team and what Brooklyn can accomplish this season.
“He can really pass, really score, has a really high IQ,” LeVert said. “He wants to win more than people give him credit for. I know he has a lot of people to prove wrong. I know he will prove a lot of people wrong.”
Add it up and it’s why LeVert sees playoffs.
“I honestly don’t really care what other people have to say,” he said. “We know the pieces we have, the pieces we’ve added. And we’re really excited.”
It would be a pretty significant turnaround for a franchise still trying to dig itself out from under a terrible trade with the Boston Celtics, but it certainly is a chance of pace to see anyone in Brooklyn excited about where the Nets are headed. Maybe being healthy really does make all the difference, at least when it comes to confidence.