After losing four of their past five games to drop to 3-4 in the young NBA season, the news got much worse for the Nets on Monday when they announced superstar Kevin Durant, who is averaging 28.3 points in his six appearances, is out of their game against the Jazz Tuesday night at Barclays Center. The reason officially is designated by the NBA as "health and safety protocols" related to COVID-19.
According to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant is expected to be in quarantine for seven days because of contact tracing/exposure to COVID-19. Charania cited rules related to the NBA’s return-to-play process that require players, coaches or staffers to quarantine for seven days after exposure to the virus.
By that timeline, Durant not only would miss the Jazz game but also would be sit out when the 76ers' visit Barclays on Thursday, when the Nets travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies on Friday night and when they return home Sunday to meet the Thunder. The likely return date would be against the Nuggets Jan. 12 at home.
The "health and safety protocols" designation for Durant’s status simply means he was exposed to the disease, but he previously was one of four Nets players who contracted it back in March. In this case, an NBA source told Newsday Durant was in contact with someone outside the organization who has the virus, but no Nets players or staffers currently have tested positive.