"We have a job to do," Nets general manager Sean Marks said to reporters Wednesday, per ESPN's Malika Andrews. "We have to bring a team to Orlando. We will bring a team to Orlando. We will go down there and we will compete. That's our jobs here."
Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie told The Athletic's Shams Charania he tested positive for COVID-19 and is on the fence about traveling to Orlando. Veteran center DeAndre Jordan announced he had tested positive as well and said he's opting out of the restart.
As a result, the version of the Nets that will take the court at Walt Disney World will be almost unrecognizable from the one fans saw open the 2019-20 season.
Durant has missed the entire year while recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, while Irving underwent shoulder surgery in March and was limited to 20 games. Dinwiddie, Chandler and Jordan, on the other hand, played a combined 85 minutes in Brooklyn's last game, a 104-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on March 10.
While few considered the Nets a legitimate title contender, they at least looked like a lock to make the postseason. They're six games ahead of the ninth-place Washington Wizards. With eight seeding games to set the playoff field, the team could plausibly miss out altogether.
More likely is Brooklyn slipping back to eighth since the Orlando Magic are only a half-game out of the seventh seed. Were that to happen, the Nets would almost certainly get the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round and be packing their bags shortly after.