In the midst of what has been an already rough start to the season for the new-look Brooklyn Nets, the team is expected to be without their starting shooting guard, Caris LeVert, for several weeks after it was discovered that LeVert had a torn ligament in his right thumb.
The team announced LeVert underwent surgery to repair the ligament damage on Thursday. LeVert suffered the injury in Nets’ blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. There is currently no official timetable for LeVert’s return, although Shams Charania of The Athletic reports he will miss “several weeks.”
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 14, 2019
Nets‘ Caris LeVert has undergone surgery to repair ligament damage in his right thumb. He’s expected to miss several weeks. https://t.co/eR9zPrjZqq
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 14, 2019
Prior to going down with his latest injury, LeVert was averaging career-highs in minutes (31.6), points (16.8), 3-point percentage (36.1%) and rebounds (5). However, he was also shooting a career-low 42.1% from the field and turning the ball over a career-high 3.4 times per game with a 1.16 assist to turnover ratio. In spite of LeVert’s inconsistent production, he’s still one of five players on the Nets posting a positive net rating this season. The others are Taurean Prince, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen and David Nwaba.
LeVert is also one of the few players on the Nets that can get hot and carry the team on offense. Outside of Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie — Brooklyn’s crafty point guard tandem —LeVert is the only guard on the Nets that can put the ball on the floor and create for himself. In fact, LeVert is tied with Dinwiddie for the second-most 20+ point games on the team behind Irving.
The Nets will look to try and replicate some of LeVert’s production through Iman Shumpert, who the team signed using the 16th roster spot they have while Wilson Chandler is suspended, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Chandler will return from suspension on Dec. 15. At that time, the Nets will have to waive Shumpert or waive someone else to keep Shumpert. Shumpert last played for the Houston Rockets and the team made the signing official on Wednesday.
OFFICIAL: The Brooklyn Nets have signed guard Iman Shumpert pic.twitter.com/OD4zpGnhKc
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 13, 2019
Shumpert doesn’t bring the offensive pop LeVert can and he’s only a marginally better defender, but he has some chemistry with Irving from the two seasons they spent together with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If Shumpert makes good on his opportunity with the Nets, he could create a good problem for general manager Sean Marks when the team starts getting healthy.