The NBA, like many professional sports leagues across the United States, put a pause on their season due to coronavirus concerns. That put an extended stoppage that has opened up the conversation around other possibilities if the 2019-20 campaign is to return at some point over the summer. Among those has been lingering chatter around star forward Kevin Durant potentially making his long-awaited return to the floor after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles last June. The Nets have finally put an end to all that chatter by finally firmly declaring that Durant will not be on the floor this season if it does resume.
Nets GM hints at Kevin Durant returning this season
Earlier in the 2019-20 season, the Nets quickly silenced any chatter regarding Durant making his return to the court during the campaign.
However, dialogue shifted in that direction again due to coronavirus causing a suspension of the season with an uncertain resume date. That was only fueled further by Nets general manager Sean Marks recently suggestion that option may still be on the table, according to
“That’s a $110 million question,” Marks said. “In all seriousness, we’ve tried not to talk about his timeline a lot. He knows his body better than anybody. Our performance team and training staff have done a tremendous job getting him to this point, but I just don’t know how coming out of this pandemic will affect anybody, let alone Kevin.
Marks didn’t exactly state that Durant was going to play this year, but also didn’t shut down the possibility. That predictable led to the chatter that given the proper circumstances, the two-time Finals MVP could play this season if were to resume.
There had seemingly been a pandora’s box open to the potential of that scenario coming to fruition. It didn’t take long for that situation to be shut down.
Nets finally shut down possibility of Kevin Durant returns this season
Marks may not have intended for the conversation around Durant’s status for this season to remain uncertain; it created a reason to believe that there is a possibility he can return.
The 31-year-old has been on a steady path toward recovery over the last several months, but it took Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN to bring an end to the speculation finally.
“Kevin Durant’s not coming back to the Nets this year if they play. That’s not happening. They’re not playing him.”
That should bring an immediate end to any further discussion on the matter as arguably the most credible reporter in the business has come out with a strong statement. There likely wasn’t any realistic chance that Durant could come back, but this avoids the Nets from having to address the scenario if the 2019-20 season resumes at some point this upcoming summer.
Kevin Durant will be ready to roll to begin 2020-21 season
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Nets are erring on the side of caution with Durant’s recovery process.
There is no reason to rush him back to the floor before he’s ready to play. When Brooklyn elected to sign Durant last offseason, it was a given that he wouldn’t be taking the floor for his first year with the franchise.
The Nets are positioning themselves to compete for an NBA title next season and potentially beyond that. There is also the factor with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving being out of the mix for the next several months due to season-ending shoulder surgery back in March.
Brooklyn can move forward with their attention focused solely on retooling and preparing to compete for a championship in the 2020-21 campaign.