Sidelined Kevin Durant won’t join Nets in Orlando to rehab
It was already known that Kevin Durant would not participate in the NBA’s restart in Orlando at the Walt Disney World Resort later next month, but now there is confirmation that the superstar won’t be joining the Brooklyn Nets in Florida, either.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports relayed via Twitter Tuesday morning that Durant, who is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in last year’s NBA Finals, will instead continue his rehabilitation on his own.
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant — who is continuing rehab on his Achilles — will not accompany the team to Orlando for the season resumption, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 30, 2020
There was some speculation during the NBA’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic that the shutdown might have allowed Durant to be far enough along in his recovery that a return to the court would be a possibility. After all, Durant originally suffered the Achilles injury on June 11, 2019. With the NBA returning to action on July 30, it would have meant that more than a year has passed since Durant went down.
Durant, however, recently rejected any possibility of him playing this summer.
“My season is over,” Durant told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated earlier this month. “I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”
The Nets rightfully exercised extreme caution with Durant after acquiring the superstar in a sign-and-trade deal with the Golden State Warriors last July and inking him to a four-year, $164 million contract. It makes little sense to deviate from the original plan of holding Durant out for the entire 2019-20 campaign, even with the several-month delay.
At 30-34 and slotted as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference ahead of the restart, the Nets are in a good spot to qualify for the postseason after an abbreviated eight-game conclusion to the regular season. Having said that, odds of the Nets making a deep playoff run is unlikely given the absence of both Durant and Kyrie Irving.