Nets GM doesn't rule out Kevin Durant returning for coronavirus-delayed end of season

Jack Baer
·2-min read

The NBA season remains shut down, and no one seems to know for sure when it’s coming back. One thing that is clear, though, is that NBA commissioner Adam Silver isn’t rushing the process.

That delay could make things very interesting for the Brooklyn Nets and their injured superstar Kevin Durant, who remains out with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon suffered in the NBA Finals last season. It was previously expected that Durant would miss his first season with the Nets while recovering from the rupture.

Nets general manager Sean Marks didn’t rule out the idea of Durant returning this season instead if postseason is postponed, in an interview with Newshub of his native New Zealand:

“That’s a $110M question,” chuckles Marks. “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.

“When you’ve got enough invested in a player like Kevin, we’re never going to push him to come back. When the timing is right, he’ll be 100 percent when he gets on the court.

“I can tell you this though — before the pandemic, he looked like Kevin Durant and that’s a good thing.”

So basically, Durant’s return is up to how Durant’s body recovers. The big thing, though, is that Marks didn’t say it wasn’t happening.

Marks has been similarly vague in the past, saying this when Durant was cleared of the coronavirus after testing positive:

“I couldn’t give an answer on when they’ll play this season,” Marks said, via ESPN. “I don’t think it’s fair to those athletes nor the performance team to put a timeline on it. I think everyone is dealing with bigger, far more pressing things.”

Durant — and Kyrie Irving, also thought to be out for the season following shoulder surgery — returning fully healthy would have the potential to introduce another contender into the Eastern Conference. The Nets were on track for the seventh seed in the East with a record of 30-34, but few expected them to advance past the first round without Durant or Irving.

Seeing Durant back on the floor one postseason earlier than expected would be a surreal sight, but the sports world has been nothing but surreal since that fateful night in Oklahoma City.

FILE- In this March 10, 2020, file photo, Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant watches during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles. Durant is among the four Brooklyn Nets who have tested positive for the new coronavirus.  A backlash roiled across social media Wednesday, March 18, as several celebrities and professional athletes revealed that they had been tested for the coronavirus, even when they didn’t have a fever or other tell-tale symptoms. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)
Kevin Durant's return is an enormous X-factor if the end of the NBA season is delayed. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)

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