Nets star Kevin Durant is one of a number of players around the NBA who was ruled out for the 2019/20 season due to an injury prior to the hiatus. Now that there’s a possibility the end of the season could be played in June, July, and/or August, projected return dates will be re-evaluated, since many injuries may not ultimately be season-ending after all.
However, appearing today on Golic & Wingo, Durant’s business partner Rich Kleiman downplayed the idea of KD returning to play in the summer (link via ESPN).
“Honestly, not very realistic from my standpoint, and (we have) not even spoken about,” Kleiman said.
Durant tore his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals last June, so if the NBA season were to return in mid-June, it would give him a full 12 months to recover. Although Kleiman didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of the forward making his Brooklyn debut prior to opening night in 2020/21, he clearly wanted to keep expectations in check, given the serious nature of Durant’s injury.
“It feels like (Durant playing in 2019/20) clearly was not something that was in the cards prior to all this,” Kleiman said. “And now, I think just like the rest of the world, it’s hard to take anything more than day by day.
“I think that Kevin is going to figure out the space that he needs to be in to continue to rehab during this time. But even that is hard to answer at this point, with the new kind of rules that were put in place last night.”
The “new kind of rules” reference by Kleiman presumably refer to the NBA indefinitely extending its ban on team practices and limiting contact between players at team facilities.
The idea of the Nets getting back Durant and possibly Kyrie Irving for a summer postseason run is intriguing and would certainly make things more interesting in the East, but for now it feels like a long shot. We’ll see if that outlook changes in the coming months.