With Kevin Durant’s Achilles tendon the most-watched body part in sports, the Nets aren’t ruling out their newly acquired superstar for next season.
They didn’t guarantee Durant will play, but opted not to proactively put him on the shelf.
“He will be evaluated with the performance team and so forth,” said general manager Sean Marks. “A timeline will be given in due time, but as of now, we’re certainly not going to comment on when or if and make any sort of hypotheticals. It’s too early.”
When Dallas traded for Kristaps Porzingis, owner Mark Cuban immediately shut down any talk of the ex-Knick playing last season. But the Nets are taking a wait-and-see approach with Durant, who came back from a calf injury only to rupture his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
“We were texting right away. You know, ‘Geez, this could change things.’ Then we took a couple of deep breaths and obviously got more information and that made the decision easier,” coach Kenny Atkinson said Tuesday in his first comments since the Durant sign-and-trade.
“For it to happen in that moment, at that time, irrespective of free agency, obviously I’d be lying if I said, ‘oh, it didn’t bother us at all’, or ‘we weren’t at all taken’,” Marks said. “Then we had to dig in and say, OK, what does that look like? How does that work with our franchise? How does that fit with the dynamic?”
There was a lot of digging with an Achilles injury. It’s as catastrophic an injury as a basketball player can suffer.