After the NBA announced it would be Rudy Gobert , league commissioner Adam Silver set a 30-day minimum hiatus for games to resume. That was always an optimistic outlook, given the decision to start the season again is likely out of Silver's control. Then came the announcement on Sunday that the league is eyeing as a best-case scenario after the CDC recommended that any gatherings of 50 people or more in the United States be put on hold for at least eight weeks.following
That's obviously crushing news for anyone who had any hope basketball would resume sooner rather than later, but it also led to some speculation that perhaps some injured players who were already ruled out for the remainder of the season could make a return with the potential June start date.
One of them is Kevin Durant. The Nets star has been sidelined for the entire season due to a torn Achilles tendon, and is now also dealing with the coronavirus. On Tuesday, the Nets announced that four players had tested positive for the virus, and . Thankfully he is asymptomatic.
Even before that news, though, Rich Kleiman, Durant's agent and business partner, shot down the idea of Durant returning this season during an appearance on ESPN's "Golic and Wingo." "Honestly, not very realistic from my standpoint, and not even spoken about," Kleiman said.
The Nets have been adamant that Durant would not make a return this season, but the two-time NBA champion did leave the door open to this summer. If the league returned in June that would be a year from when Durant suffered his injury in the NBA Finals last season, but Kleiman hinted that the social distancing will presumably slow down his rehab process.
"It feels like (Durant playing this season) 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."
If the league is to resume play in June, it would have to decide what that would look like with still 20 games remaining on the schedule for most teams. The NBA is viewing all options and possibilities, including playing games without fans in attendance, as well as in smaller venues if home arenas are unavailable due to scheduling conflicts, as reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
There's also a concern that this season may be lost altogether, but Silver has been adamant in saying this season will resume regardless of when that is. When -- or if -- that does happen, it sounds like the Nets will be without Durant until the start of the 2020-21 season, as well as star point guard Kyrie Irving who underwent earlier in March.