The Nets have already ruled Kevin Durant out for the 2019-2020 season, but fans can’t help but think about what if after seeing the two-time Finals MVP sprinting and playing catch football at the team’s training facility.
Brooklyn currently sits in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference trailing the Philadelphia 76ers by eight games for the sixth seed. It appears the likelihood is the Nets won’t move beyond the seventh seed or lower than the eighth seed.
One game separates the two through four seeds with Toronto, Boston and Miami bunched up behind Milwaukee and just ahead of Indiana. The East’s pecking order is far from set, but with Kyrie Irving sidelined until at least through the All-Star break, it would take a miraculous finish to close ground on any of the top tier teams.
Durant’s eventual return to court can instantly transform the Nets into contenders, but the idea of him joining the team at the end of the season for a playoff run is a pipedream for many fans.
The fact is that Durant and the Nets don’t want him to risk rushing back like he did for the 2019 finals and jeopardizing the final three years of his contract. Sean Marks, Kenny Atkinsons and the Nets training staff are taking the cautious and measured approach to Durant’s rehab, but you can’t blame Nets fans for expressing excitement and hoping for the best seeing their superstar player progressing quicker than expected.