Brooklyn Nets: Caris LeVert has that All-Star look about him

Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets haven’t had a representative in the All-Star Game since 2014, but Caris LeVert is playing like he could be the one to end that drought.

Caris LeVert? No, take him off your draft board. Caris LeVert? No, way too much risk in taking him. Caris LeVert? Have you seen his medical history? These are the words that floated around Caris LeVert’s name when he was being evaluated for the 2016 NBA Draft.

During this whole process, two people were willing to look past these doubts, at the talent that they saw on the court at the University of Michigan.

Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson told Brian Lewis of the New York Post:

"“I do remember the struggles, but we all had a sense he was going to be really good because his preseason was really good, his practice time this offseason was really good,.“He’s reached another level of understanding of the league, understanding of himself. He understands the pace of the game better.”"

When LeVert’s draft rights were acquired from the Indiana Pacers, the doubters called Nets general manager Sean Marks crazy. After three foot surgeries during his four years at Michigan, medical staffs advised teams to take him off the draft boards.

Doctors took a piece of LeVert’s hip, attaching it to his ankle for added strength. After the Nets acquired him, Marks and Atkinson started to ease LeVert to the NBA’s pace of play in his first two seasons.

On draft night in 2016, the Nets watched as the Celtics took Jaylen Brown out of Cal with the third overall pick they got from Brooklyn. Then Marks made the trade for LeVert, sending Thaddeus Young to Indiana. Now, we are asking if LeVert is better than Brown.

At this point last season, this would not even be a debate, with Brown taking off as a rising star in the NBA. This season, LeVert has taken off, playing like the superstar the Nets have been longing for.

Last year at this time, Caris LeVert was averaging around 10 points per game, while shooting 36 percent. This year? LeVert is averaging 21 points, shooting 49 percent. LeVert is garnering attention around the league, which makes us ask if he will be an All-Star this year.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has already seen the new LeVert once this season.

"“Caris LeVert is tough,. He’s a slasher, ball-handler. He can get into the paint. He’s big, so he can finish in the paint.”"

LeVert’s head is in a good space this year, as he continues to remind us that he can play with the pressure of a superstar on his shoulders. It seems like a leap of faith saying LeVert will be an All-Star; however, if he continues to play like he is right now, he certainly deserves to be in Charlotte.

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LeVert would be the Nets’ first All-Star since Joe Johnson made it in 2014 and he is giving us every reason to believe he is the one to end that drought.