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Woj: ‘Kevin Durant’s not coming back to Nets this year’

2019 NBA Draft Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The great and powerful Woj has spoken ...

“Guys, Kevin Durant’s not coming back to the Nets this year, that’s not happening, they’re not playing him.”

Adrian Wojnarowski made the pronouncement on an ESPN podcast with Bobby Marks and Rachel Nichols posted Saturday, one that discussed the NBA’s plan for a return to play. Specifically, Woj was talking about the fear of injuries in a shortened, fan-less season.

“What about in a shortened season, and I know they’re thinking about this, You really want to hurt ratings next year? Let’s rush everybody back this season and let’s get key players injured and now have to hold them off, have their starts pushed back.”

In other words, while the NBA wants to get back on the court to finish out this season, the big goal is making the 2020-21 season, even with a late start, close to normal. Woj also said do not expect the NBA to reduce the number of games next season because they’ll want and need revenue.

Similarly, Rich Kleiman, Durant’s agent and manager, once again called a return this season “unrealistic” in an interview with Frank Isola and Wes Wilcox Friday on Sirius XM Radio. Kleiman was asked specifically if he thought KD could return this season...

“From my standpoint, no. I think it’s unrealistic. That’s just my view on it. We haven’t gotten deep into the conversation about it because of how unrealistic it all seems to me. I figure that, if something changed, he would tell me.

“And it’s also hard to even discuss in a real serious manner without any information on the season. It still feels there’s such uncertainty day to day. Outside of just the NBA, the whole thing just feels too unrealistic from my standpoint.”

Like Sean Marks and teammate Chris Chiozza, Kleiman said he expects KD will return to form, adding, “I think you’ll just see a completely well-rounded better version of him.”

Thus ends (again) a boomlet of optimism about a Durant return to play spurred by comments from Marks suggesting there was a question mark to the return and Ian Eagle noting that Durant might want to return rather than wait till a 2020-21 season that might start in December, a full 18 months after his injury in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.