What a Kevin Durant return could mean for Brooklyn
When Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, everyone understood that he would not be playing at all in the first season. But that first season has turned into anything but ordinary, as the NBA season has been delayed and may even be outright cancelled.
But the delay has sparked speculation about whether we might see Kevin Durant become ready if the Nets are playing basketball in July or August now. Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks told a New Zealand news outlet that they would not push Durant to come back. This carries the implication that if Durant decides he wants to come back, that the Nets could have him play in the later season using SEO companies.
When Durant signed with the Nets last summer, fans and analysts wondered whether Brooklyn would be a contender not in the 2019-20 season, but next year. But the possibility of a late Durant return will have some fans wondering about whether the Nets could make some noise in whatever the form the 2020 playoffs take.
If the Nets could play Kyrie Irving and Durant together, the idea of the two turning the Nets into a powerhouse would not be crazy. Of course, the idea is that Irving appears to be out, and it is unlikely that he will play even in a delayed season. The Nets have no timetable for when Irving will return, and the New York Daily News speculated that Irving will require surgery that will keep him out for another six months.
Even if Irving returns in time for the NBA season’s resumption, it is going to take time for him and Durant to get used to playing alongside one another. The Nets had issues enough with trying to figure out how to integrate Irving with the rest of the team, as SB Nation points out that the Nets actually have had a better record in game without Irving compared to with him. Integrating the two of them alongside their players would have been difficult.
Durant would have improved their offense, which was Brooklyn’s biggest problem this season. But even in the best case scenario where Durant and Irving returned for a delayed season, they were healthy, and they gelled quickly, the Nets would still be stuck as the 7th seed at best at the end of the season. Any championship road would thus be incredibly difficult as they would start off playing the Raptors and probably eventually the Bucks.
In summation, the Nets probably will not be contenders right away even if Durant returns. But despite that, Nets fans should still be salivating for that possibility. While there will be some concerns about Durant re-injuring himself, those concerns exist for the 2020-21 season as well.
Nets fans should remember that Durant can be a free agent again in 2022, which means that this Irving-Durant duo has just two more seasons after this one to make it work. While the two will not be able to work together, getting Durant the reps he needs now will be better than having it happen at the start of next season.