Kevin Durant should return in near future for Nets

The Nets will likely have Kevin Durant, out with a leg injury, back in action in the near future. Via the New York Daily News:

Durant’s return is near, and the Nets hope the cautious approach will pay dividends in keeping him on the floor for their playoff and championship run. The team’s All-Star captain has missed the last 21 games with an injury he got in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors. He is the most critical piece to a championship jigsaw puzzle: A two-time Finals MVP averaging 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game, but has only appeared in 19 games this season.

“Him missing significant time, we miss him. We can’t wait for him to get back, literally,” Kyrie Irvng said. “But we’re all staying patient. We know what he brings to the table. We know the respect that he garners from all of us in terms of a leader on our team, but we’ve got to figure it out, game-to-game, until he’s back.”

The Nets are 33-15 this season, which is the best record in the Eastern conference.

Their leading scorers so far in 2020-21 are Durant at 29.0 points per game in 19 games played, Irving at 28.2 ppg, and James Harden at 26.1 ppg.

Jayson Tatum will start in place of Kevin Durant in 2021 NBA All-Star Game

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum will replace injured Nets forward Kevin Durant as a starter in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

Tatum had previously been named an All-Star reserve.

Also today, it was announced that Durant’s injury replacement on the All-Star team is Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis.

The Nets today announced that Durant will remain out through the All-Star break.

Domantas Sabonis picked as injury replacement for Kevin Durant in 2021 NBA All-Star game

Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Earlier today, the Nets announced that Durant will be out through the All-Star break. It’s presumed that this is mostly for precautionary reasons.

Nets forward Kevin Durant will remain out through the NBA All-Star break

After a routine follow-up MRI on his left hamstring, it was determined that Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant will require an additional recovery period that will result in him remaining out through the NBA All-Star break.

Per the team, “the latest images provided a clearer picture of the hamstring and while we are confident that Durant will return at full strength, this extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level at which he has been playing this season once he returns.”

Durant will continue to undergo rehabilitation and will be re-assessed following the break.

At 22-12, the Nets have the second best record in the Eastern conference. Durant has played in 19 of the team’s 34 games this season and has been their leading scorer, averaging 29.0 points per game.

Kevin Durant named a 2021 NBA All-Star Game starter and team captain

The NBA announced today that Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and guard Kyrie Irving have been selected by fans, current NBA players and a media panel to start in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, March 7, at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Durant and the Lakers’ LeBron James will serve as team captains for the Team Durant vs. Team LeBron matchup and draft rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference. TNT will air the 2021 NBA All-Star Draft on Thursday, March 4, at 8 p.m. ET.

Durant has been named an All-Star for the 11th time in his career and an All-Star Game starter for the ninth time. He has been selected as an All-Star for the 11th straight season that he has played (2010-21), with the lone exception being the 2020 All-Star Game after he missed the 2019-20 season due to injury.

The only active player with more All-Star Game selections than Durant is LeBron James (selected for the 17th time tonight). A two-time All-Star Game MVP (2012 and 2019) who holds the second-highest scoring average in All-Star Game history (25.0 points per game), Durant has helped lead Brooklyn to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (18-12) while registering averages of 29.0 points (sixth in the league and third in the East), 7.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.4 blocks in 35.8 minutes per game and shooting 52.4 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from 3-point range and 86.9 percent from the free-throw line across 19 games.

Durant began the 2020-21 season by scoring 20 or more points in 17 straight games, the longest stretch of 20-point games to open a season in his career and tied for the third-longest stretch at any point in a season in Nets history.

Durant averaged 30.6 points per game through his first 15 games this season, joining Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60 with the Philadelphia Warriors) as the only players to average 30.0 points per game through their first 15 games with a new team in NBA history.

Durant and Irving are the fifth and sixth Nets to ever be selected as All-Star Game starters, joining Jason Kidd (2008), Vince Carter (2005), Kenny Anderson (1994) and Derrick Coleman (1994), and just the second pair of Nets selected to start an All-Star Game together, joining Anderson and Coleman, who were selected to start the 1994 All-Star Game in Minnesota.

Nets forward Kevin Durant set to return Saturday vs. Warriors

The Nets are getting Kevin Durant back in time for tomorrow’s game against Stephon Curry, Draymond Green and the Warriors. Via the NY Post:

The Nets superstar rejoined the team for practice Friday, following a six-day quarantine with negative COVID-19 tests after he came into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus last Friday. He will be a full go for Saturday night’s game against the Warriors as the Nets tip off a five-game West Coast road trip…

The week off marked Durant’s second COVID-19 quarantine of the season, though this one was much messier. He was a late scratch for the start of last Friday’s game against the Raptors because of an inconclusive COVID-19 test for the person he came into contact with, then was allowed to play late in the first quarter. But Durant was eventually taken off the floor in the third quarter when that person’s COVID-19 test came back positive.

The Nets are 15-12 this season. A record good enough for 3rd best in an Eastern conference with just four teams with records above .500 through Thursday’s games.

Kevin Durant removed from Raptors vs. Nets game due to COVID-19 contact tracing concerns

It was an unusual situation in Brooklyn tonight, centered around Nets star forward Kevin Durant.

Via the Toronto Star:

Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant was going to play, then wasn’t allowed to play, then got clearance to play and finally had to stop playing in the third quarter of a truly odd Nets-Raptors game in Brooklyn.

The Durant saga underscores the oddities in a testing/contact tracing world the NBA is trying to navigate through this regular season.

It put a damper on, and added considerable confusion to, a delightful offensive display by both teams but highlights the inherent difficulty with pulling off games and seasons with daily testing, contact tracing and other aspects of dealing with a raging pandemic.

The game itself was delightful as Kyle Lowry simply willed the Raptors to a 123-117 win with typical fourth-quarter brilliance.

Lowry finished with a season-high 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds, and Pascal Siakam added 33 points as the Raptors played one of their best games of the season.

And the New York Post:

Kevin Durant was a last-minute scratch from the Nets’ starting lineup Friday night, then was inserted into the game late and finally pulled for good, all due to COVID-19 contact tracing.

Durant will not travel with the team to Philadelphia on Saturday, according to ESPN.

The NBA said in a statement that Durant was pulled from the game “out of an abundance of caution” after someone he interacted with tested positive for coronavirus after their initial test was inconclusive. The league also said Durant tested negative three times in the past 24 hours.

The entire world is learning to navigate through the the coronavirus pandemic. And it’s certainly a learning process for any event-based organizations, especially sports leagues. The NBA certainly has to examine exactly what happened today, and what to take away from this going forward.

Nets will be without Kevin Durant against Cavs tonight

The Nets won’t be at full strength tonight. Via the Sun Sentinel:

The second appearance of the Brooklyn Nets’ Big Three was put on hold Friday until the Miami Heat’s Saturday visit to Barclays Center.

As they continue to manage Kevin Durant’s recovery from the torn Achilles that kept him out last season, the Nets announced Friday that Durant would not play in Friday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Instead, Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden are expected to play for only the second time as a trio when the Heat open their two-game set against the Nets at 8 p.m. Saturday, a set that concludes Monday at Barclays Center.

The Cavs handed the Nets a loss in double overtime on Wednesday.

With Durant out, this gives everyone a chance to focus on how Harden and Irving play alongside each other. Which is actually the biggest thing to pay attention to on the Nets roster right now.

Rockets superstar James Harden reportedly seeks trade to Nets

Now this is big. James Harden, one of the best players in the NBA, and one of the league’s most potent offensive superstars in many years, is reportedly ready to move on from the Houston Rockets. Where would Harden like to be traded? Brooklyn, reportedly. Here’s the Houston Chronicle:

James Harden on Monday went from interested to determined in regard to making the career- and franchise-changing move of leaving the Rockets for the Brooklyn Nets. And he took an unprecedented step to prove it.

Harden turned down the Rockets’ offer of a two-year, $103 million contract extension, two individuals with knowledge of the offer confirmed. ESPN was the first to report the offer that would have had Harden, 31, under contract, for five more seasons.

The extension would have put Harden in line to become the highest-paid player in NBA history.

Harden made it clear that rather than finish his career with the Rockets, he wants to be dealt to the Nets to play with Kevin Durant, his former Oklahoma City teammate, and Kyrie Irving. He also indicated he has no interest in going anywhere besides Brooklyn and believes the Rockets should make the best deal with the Nets that they can, even if they do not consider it satisfactory.

Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer the past three seasons, has three seasons, worth $133 million, remaining on his contract, the last season at a player option.

Harden and Kyrie Irving aren’t necessarily a perfect backcourt match, but their individual talent is undeniable, and their potential, along with Durant in the frontcourt, would make for an incredibly powerful NBA trio.

For now, this just remains Harden’s alleged wish. By no means does this appear to be a trade in motion just yet.

Kevin Durant, future NBA team owner?

I’d like to own an NBA team. You probably wouldn’t mind owning one either. Far more realistic is NBA superstar Kevin Durant, once he eventually retires, pulling it off. And he’s interested. Here’s the Mercury News with reporting his latest words on the matter:

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has mused about owning and/or operating an NBA franchise. This week he applied some specificity to his dream.

Asked if he had an interest in being the guy who returns an NBA team to Seattle, he did not equivocate.

“Hell yeah, of course I would,” Durant told ESPN after the Warriors had chewed up and spit out the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Wednesday night.

Durant has a sentimental attachment to Seattle. It’s where he broke in as a 19-year-old rookie.

Full article