The Nets began a stretch without their star, Kevin Durant after he came in contact with somebody who had tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, Durant, on Tuesday night, started an NBA-imposed quarantine due to contact tracing.
The Nets are still waiting to hear from the NBA to learn how long Durant’s quarantine will be. Despite reports of a seven-day quarantine, sources told The Post that’s not set in stone.
The league will gather information from Durant and the Nets regarding proximity and duration of contact. Then the NBA’s medical experts will set a timeline for a quarantine and give that to the team.
As of Tuesday night, the Nets — who for one game at least didn’t miss Durant as they routed the Jazz 130-96 at Barclays Center — were still waiting for that to happen.
“My understanding is that it is a quarantine, so I don’t think there will be any on-court activity. The length of the quarantine is still a moving target,” coach Steve Nash said. “There’s negative tests, days from the contact tracing and all sorts of factors that go into it. So, I don’t really have an answer yet on how long.
“I think some of those factors are either in flux or debatable, so we’re waiting for official word. I wish there was more I could give you, but that’s all I have right now.”
Should Durant’s quarantine last seven days, as initially believed, he would miss at least three more games — against the 76ers, Grizzlies and Thunder. But that quarantine could end up being shorter — or longer.
The 32-year-old Durant had coronavirus in May during the NBA shutdown, but he continues to register antibodies and has tested negative in at least three recent tests.
When someone in a player’s family, or those living in close contact, tests positive, however, the player is then put in quarantine. In that regard, the NBA’s rules don’t distinguish between players who tested positive or those who have passed COVID-19 tests.
No other Nets have had to quarantine due to contact tracing.
“I don’t believe — I haven’t heard any word that there’s any contact tracing with any of his teammates that’s applicable,” Nash said. “I couldn’t give you anything there other than: Not to my knowledge.”
When asked if it’s safe to presume the situation won’t force any team personnel into quarantine, Nash replied: “Your first question, I don’t know that I can answer any better than you posed it. I think that’s about right. I’m not an expert on those protocols because there’s a lot of variance. Everything is situational.”
However long Durant is forced to miss, it will be a huge loss for the Nets, who are 4-4 and still trying to find their footing.
Durant is averaging 28.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists. As play began Tuesday, he was tied for fourth in the league in scoring — behind only James Harden, Stephen Curry and Bradley Beal — and he was second in plus-minus (+75) and sixth in net rating (16.8).
This comes after he spent 18 months away from the game, following a rupture of his Achilles tendon in June 2019 playing for the Warriors.
“Obviously, Kevin is extremely upset to miss time, and it’s horrible for him. He’s worked his way back after such a long layoff, and to miss games like this is frustrating for him,” Nash said. “But we’ve just got to stick with it and play the long game and know that, in time, he’ll be back and we’ll forget about this window that he missed.”