Kevin Durant’s absence might make the upcoming NBA season less star-powerful.
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks told reporters Wednesday the team expects the superstar forward to miss the entire 2019-20 campaign, according to The Associated Press.
“With Kevin, I think what we’re going to say is the expectations are that he’ll be out for the year,” Marks said, per The AP.
Durant ruptured his right Achilles on June 11 in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals and underwent surgery the following day. He left the Golden State Warriors for the Nets weeks later in free agency, teaming up with former Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
Although some rumors claimed over the summer the Nets hadn’t ruled out Durant returning this season, they had resisted publicly discussing his recovery timetable until Wednesday.
Despite laying out the Nets’ expectations of a lost season for Durant, the 10-time NBA All-Star’s dedication to his rehab program stops Marks from ruling out the chance he’ll return this season.
“I’ve been excited to see, I think we all have, how he’s approached this rehab, which has been great, very refreshing and energizing for the whole group,” Marks said. “But at the end of the day, this is a long-term plan here. This was never about this next season. This is about getting an elite athlete back to elite physical shape on the court, whatever that takes.”
The Nets will hold their media day Friday and begin training camp Saturday, marking the unofficial start to their season. Durant won’t be on the court then, but the fact anything is possible in today’s NBA means we shouldn’t view the Nets’ stated expectation as gospel.