Sean Marks

Kevin Durant's potential NBA return called '$110M question' by Nets GM

Kevin Durant's potential NBA return called '$110M question' by Nets GM

If the 2019-20 NBA season resumes at some point this summer, is there a window of opportunity in which Kevin Durant returns to game action?

When asked that question recently, Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks did not explicitly rule out a return for the former Warriors superstar.

"That's a $110 million question," Marks said with a chuckle to Grant Chapman of New Zealand's Newshub. "In all seriousness, we've tried not to talk about his timeline a lot. He knows his body better than anybody.

"Our performance team and training staff have done a tremendous job getting him to this point, but I just don't know how coming out of this pandemic will affect anybody, let alone Kevin."

After this season, KD is owed about $123 million through the 2022-23 campaign, according to Spotrac.com. So it's unclear why Marks specifically said $110 million.

But that's not the important part here.

What matters most is that the GM seemingly left the door cracked open for a comeback from KD.

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Before the coronavirus pandemic shut the season down, the two-time NBA Finals MVP repeatedly made it clear that he wasn't going to play at all this season.

But on March 16 -- five days after the league announced the indefinite suspension -- KD's agent, Rich Kleiman, was asked the same question Marks was by Newshub.

"Honestly, not very realistic from my standpoint, and not even spoken about," he said. "It feels like it clearly was not something that was in the cards prior to all of this. And now, I think -- just like the rest of the world -- it's hard to take anything more than day by day.

"But again -- I think that Kevin is going to figure out the space that he needs to be in to continue to rehab during this time. But even that is hard to answer at this point, with the new kind of rules that were put in place."

[RELATED: KD's 13 most jaw-dropping Warriors games, performances]

Everything still is hard to answer seven weeks later.

The safe bet is that we won't see KD -- who ruptured his right Achilles tendon during Golden State's win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 10 -- take the floor again until the 2020-21 season begins.

And when that happens also completely is up in the air.

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Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Good news. The four Brooklyn Nets players who had tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) are now free from symptoms.

Nets general manager Sean Marks announced Wednesday during a conference call with reporters that all members of Brooklyn's traveling party had completed a two-week quarantine. Even so, they will continue to abide by social-distancing guidelines.

"As it pertains to the team," Marks said (via ESPN's Malika Andrews), "I sense -- like all of us, like the rest of New York and really the rest of the globe -- we're trying to deal with this as best we can."

The Nets were scheduled to face the Warriors at Chase Center in front of no fans on March 12, but the NBA indefinitely suspended the season the previous night after two Utah Jazz players became the first in the NBA to test positive for the coronavirus. Upon returning to Brooklyn from San Francisco, the Nets paid a private company to test the team for COVID-19, which revealed that four players had tested positive.

Of those four players, three were asymptomatic. According to Marks, however, the lone player exhibiting symptoms has since recovered.

Former Warrior Kevin Durant admitted he was one of the four Nets to test positive for the coronavirus. He hadn't played all season while recovering from a torn Achilles, and was already ruled out for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign. While Durant might have some extra time on his hands these days, it's possible that the season being indefinitely paused could delay his return to game action.

The same goes for Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving, who underwent shoulder surgery on March 3. Though they are able to continue their respective rehabilitations, they obviously don't have access to the practice facility, which could slow the process.

"I couldn't give an answer on when they'll play this season," Marks said. "I don't think it's fair to those athletes nor the performance team to put a timeline on it. I think everyone is dealing with bigger, far more pressing things."

[RELATED: Steph had to assemble hoop Ayesha ordered in quarantine]

Marks insisted he would have a better idea of each player's respective timeline in another three weeks to a month, when he hopes to have more clarification about the NBA's plans to resume the season.

Of course, there's no guarantee that will happen, either.

What Kevin Durant told GM Sean Marks about why he signed with Nets

What Kevin Durant told GM Sean Marks about why he signed with Nets

Everyone wants to know: Why did Kevin Durant pick the Brooklyn Nets?

While Durant himself hasn't publicly given his reason, his new general manager Sean Marks offered insight in an interview on WFAN on Tuesday.

"Well, he said a couple things," Marks said of his conversation with Durant. "He did say, and I don't want to get into the whole thing ... he did say 'Look, I love the system, I love how you guys play, I see how hard you guys play, you're never out of games, we could never take you guys lightly.' That was one of the first things he said. 'If we were up 10 with two minutes to go, that doesn't mean anything against Brooklyn.' That's a real credit to the competitive environment that [Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson] has really brought. He's spearheaded that."

In three seasons under Atkinson, the Nets have gone from 20 wins to 28 to 42. With a young team, Brooklyn secured the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference last year, and lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Much like Warriors fans back in 2016 when Durant signed with Golden State, Marks has found himself in disbelief that Durant now plays for his team.

"I'm not going to lie, there's been a couple of times I'm definitely excited about [it]," Marks said. "Kevin for sure, the whole group and really the challenge of getting all these guys together on the same page and watching how it unfolds."

Marks said Durant gave the Nets no heads up about his decision, and that the team found out when the two-time NBA Finals MVP announced his decision on Instagram.

"What we knew was we were either getting a teleconference call with Kevin that night or we were potentially going to get a meeting," Marks said. "We'd seen some media reports earlier in the day that Kevin had crossed several teams off his list and we were still one of them. And those reports were there for everybody to read. And then when Kevin posted it on The Boardroom Instagram site, that was news to all of us in the office."

Durant is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season as he recovers from the torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Instead of flying back to the Bay Area to have surgery, Durant flew to New York and had the surgery performed by Nets team physician Martin O'Malley.

Marks, though, doesn't believe Durant's injury helped the Nets land him.

"I've never actually asked him that," Marks said. "I know he is, since signing with us, met all our performance team and I could see the look on his face, that he was certainly pleased with what we had in front of him."

[RELATED: Warriors alarmed by KD's lack of joy]

We have yet to hear from Durant on all of these subjects, but we finally have a little bit of insight into why Durant left the Warriors. Once he's ready to speak, hopefully we'll get the complete story.