Kevin Durant won't play during the NBA season restart in Orlando. That news is out there.
The Brooklyn Nets star still is 12 months removed from a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals as a member of the Warriors.
But what if Durant had been fully healthy heading into the bubble at Walt Disney World? Would he feel comfortable going down to Florida and playing while the coronavirus pandemic is raging in the state?
“I feel, me right now, I probably wouldn’t have played because the unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases," Durant told Dawg Talk podcast hosts Austin Freeman and Chris Wright (H/T New York Post). "It’s just so unpredictable. It’s easy for me to say right now because I’m injured, but I probably wouldn’t have went down there.
"If the guys feel safe, safe enough to go play, that's cool, I'm with them. If they don't feel like they should go down there and play, don't feel safe, I'm with them too. I'm all about what the group wants, and if it's good for the betterment of the whole group, then I'm cool with it. But I probably would have chilled."
If Durant had been 100 percent healthy and decided not to play in Orlando, he surely would have been the highest-profile player to opt out.
As of Friday, here are the players that have publicly opted out of the Orlando restart: Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans, Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza, Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley and Dallas Mavericks center Willie Cauley-Stein.
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With a healthy Durant, the Nets likely would be higher than the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. If Brooklyn had been the No. 2 or No. 3 seed, and had a real shot of winning the 2020 NBA title, there's no way a healthy Durant would have sat out, no matter the risk.