It’s looking more and more like we will have basketball again this season, as the NBA is targeting the end of July to bring back the 2019-20 campaign in some capacity.
This creates a rather interesting situation for players who were set to be out for the season.
Take Brooklyn Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and Washington Wizards floor general John Wall, for example. Both Durant and Wall are recovering from ruptures Achilles tendons, and Irving was supposed to be out for the remainder of the year after undergoing shoulder surgery in early March.
Does the fact that the season will now end in the fall instead of June change their respective comeback strategies?
More than likely, it won’t. Achilles injuries are no joke, so it seems rather silly for the Nets and the Wizards to risk bringing back Durant and Wall. As for Irving? Yes, a shoulder issue is much less severe, but given his extensive injury history, rushing him back on to the floor does not seem like the best idea.
Will Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving Play?
Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily basically shut down the Durant rumors on Friday, saying that sources have told him KD will not be returning whenever the season does resume.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The Nets have basically invested their entire future in Durant and Irving, and even if one or both did come back this summer, Brooklyn’s chances of winning a championship are rather slim.
Really, the idea of either player—especially Durant—getting back on the floor is rooted more in fantasy than anything else. It just doesn’t seem very realistic.
The same goes for Wall. It should be noted that Wall’s injury occurred back in February 2019, so he has had a much more extensive recovery window than Durant. But take a look at the Wizards. Do they look like a team that is prepared to contend for a title? Why bring Wall back when you are going to stink either way?
In Brooklyn, Sean Marks seems like a smart guy. He understands how much money and stock he has put into Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for the future, so I don’t think he is going to jump the gun by bringing either player back too soon. Imagine if Durant returns too early and gets re-injured. Well, there goes the Nets’ entire plan.
And while I understand that Washington’s management hasn’t exactly been great over the years, the Wizards do have a new regime now, and pushing Wall back out there when you have no shot of contending probably isn’t in their plans.
Sure, we all want to see what Brooklyn looks like with Durant and Irving, and people have been waiting for Wall to return for a year-and-a-half. But the smart move always has been—and always will be—to bide as much time as possible to allow all three of these All-Stars to get back to 100 percent.
Look what happened to KD last June when he came back too soon.
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and John Wall will be playing basketball in the near future. It just won’t be this season.