BROOKLYN — The Nets’ hopes of getting Kevin Durant back before the NBA All-Star break were likely dashed on Tuesday as multiple reports came out that Durant would not be back before the break and that he would not participate in the All-Star Game.
Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn appeared to indicate as much too while speaking with reporters during his pregame availability. The Nets had been holding out hope that Durant would be able to play a few games before the break starts next week.
“I won’t step on, you know, across that line a little bit, but what I’ll say (is) the days are adding up, and he has progressed, whether that’s going to be enough of a progression, I can’t really answer that one,” Vaughn said.
Shortly after the Nets coach spoke, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that he would not return until after the break and Bleacher Reports’ Chris Haynes said that he would miss the NBA All-Star Game. It would be the third straight time that Durant has had to miss the All-Star Game due to an injury.
There was some positive news about Durant and his recovery. Vaughn did say that he got a “really good report” on Durant’s recovery and that “he’ll continue to progress his on-court activities.”
Durant has still not done any contact on the court and Vaughn didn’t want to put a timetable on his return.
The superstar’s recovery has been going on while the Nets try to reset after trading away Kyrie Irving. It was reported earlier in the day that Durant and the organization had been having ongoing conversations about the team’s direction and that Brooklyn was not planning on dealing him before the deadline.
Vaughn said he didn’t know much about them and that he assumed they didn’t happen if he wasn’t there. He sidestepped a question about his feelings about Durant’s belief in the current roster.
“Definitely don’t want to speculate along those lines,” Vaughn said. “But what I can say is (that) we have a group that continues to play hard and play a brand of basketball that is appealing to teammates, appealing to the league. We play together, we play extremely hard, we don’t complicate things. A lot of things that Kevin stands for and has reiterated to me that (he) believes in, so I have not gotten any indication from him that that’s changed.”