The Brooklyn Nets are expected to travel to Orlando, Florida, as one of the 22 teams participating in the NBA's restart July 31, but don't expect point guard Kyrie Irving to join the team on the court.
After Kevin Durant told The Undefeated he would not be able to play for the Nets when the season resumes as he continues to rehab his knee, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Irving would not be cleared to play either following shoulder surgery March 3.
The surgery was already believed to be season-ending for Irving, and the prolonged hiatus hasn't changed that timeline.
Per Wojnarowski, on a National Basketball Players Association call Friday, Irving said he would possibly travel to Orlando as an inactive player to support his teammates.
Brooklyn held a record of 30-34 on March 11 when the league paused all activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, good for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
But that may not be enough to guarantee a playoff spot under the NBA's proposed restart format.
The league is proposing the 22 teams play eight regular-season games to determine playoff seeding before moving to the playoffs. If the ninth-place team is within four games of the eighth and final spot in either conference, it will trigger a play-in tournament in which the No. 9 team will need to win two games before the No. 8 team wins one. The winner would then officially advance to the postseason.
Irving played just 20 games for Brooklyn this season due to various nagging injuries, with the team going 8-12 over that stretch.