Report: Nets stars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving’s status after 2019-20 NBA season approved to return
According to Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily, Durant will not suit up once the season resumes, but there has yet to be word on Irving, who underwent shoulder surgery on March 3.
The Nets would go from a potential seventh seed to a dark horse in the East if they get Irving back in the lineup, assuming coach Jacque Vaughn can work out the rotation.
Brooklyn could give a team like the Toronto Raptors or Boston Celtics a run for their money in the first round with an elite-caliber player like Irving in the lineup. Assuming the star point guard could rejoin them by the start of the postseason, he would be a full five months removed from his surgery.
As far as Durant is concerned, the team had always contended he would not suit up until he could get a full offseason of work before lacing them up. This plan has apparently not changed, even with the season pushed back so far.
The Nets are seventh in the East and will have eight more regular-season games to play before taking on the postseason. Mathematically speaking, the best they can hope for is to hold onto that seventh seed (8.5 games back of the sixth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers) and avoid the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks at all costs to make it out of the first round.
Brooklyn could also find itself in a play-in tournament if things don’t go well, which is obviously something the franchise will want to avoid at all costs. Getting one or both of these stars back would help their cause, but as of right now, it’s looking like that won’t happen.
However, there’s still a long time before play starts, so perhaps things change come July 31.