Kevin Durant was never going to play this postseason, it was obvious. But nobody seemed to want to say it.
Nets GM Sean Marks didn’t say it because it’s ultimately not his call — only Durant decides when Durant comes back.
Adrian Wojnarowski is direct. He didn’t hedge his bets when talking about this on The Woj Pod.
“Guys, Kevin Durant’s not coming back to the Nets this year, that’s not happening, they’re not playing him.”
Thank you—nothing to see here, move along.
There are two clear reasons Durant will not play this season. One is injury risk. If the NBA returns, there will be a three-of-four week training camp, then the league will jump right into playoff games, a play-in tournament that is basically a playoff game, or a very condensed end to the regular season. None of that intense, condensed scheduling is how a player should return to action from a torn Achilles. It invites another injury.
The second reason is that, even if Durant and Kyrie Irving return, the Nets are not contenders this season and might not get out of the first round. The Nets have not had Durant on the floor to develop any chemistry with Irving, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, and the rest of the team. They would be talented but sloppy and figuring things out on the fly, with some rough patches. As it stands right now, Brooklyn is the seven seed and would play a Toronto team who has extensive playoff experience as a group, knows exactly who it is and what they want to do. That’s a tough team to beat in the best of circumstances.
Be patient, Durant will be back next season and get the chance to prove he is still the best player in the game.