The NBA schedule won’t be released until Wednesday, but it’s already pretty clear that Kevin Durant’s trade demand has made the Nets less of a ratings sure thing than they once were.
Brooklyn will visit the Lakers on Nov. 13, and the Warriors on Jan. 22 in San Francisco, a league source told The Post. But despite potentially being Durant’s first game in front of the Golden State fans since leaving the Bay Area for the Nets — presuming he’s not dealt away by then — the game is slated for NBA TV rather than the national spotlight of ABC, ESPN or TNT.
The schedule won’t officially be released until 3 p.m. Wednesday, but this is the latest indicator that the league offices aren’t altogether convinced Durant will still be on Brooklyn’s roster by that point.
Durant, who won the 2017 and ’18 NBA Finals MVPs for the Warriors, missed all of his first Brooklyn season rehabbing the ruptured right Achilles tendon he’d suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the eventual-champion Toronto Raptors.
In his first appearance at glistening new Chase Center on Feb. 13. 2021, Durant did score 20 points to lead the Nets to a 134-117 victory, but the game was played without fans in the stands due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Durant missed this year’s 110-106 loss at Golden State on Jan. 29, not making the trip due to a left MCL injury.
Brooklyn was left off the marquee Christmas Day slate for the first time since 2020.
The Nets’ Nov. 13 visit to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will be on ESPN, a league source told The Post. Presuming Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai hold firm and don’t acquiesce to Durant’s trade demand before then, it would be the first time he faces James since Christmas Day 2018.
Brooklyn reportedly opens the season on Oct. 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans and Zion Williamson, according to The Athletic. That would presumably mark the Nets debut of Ben Simmons, who was acquired on Feb. 10 for former MVP James Harden but missed the rest of the season with a back injury that ultimately required surgery.
The NBA did announce that no games will be played on Election Day, Nov. 8. Per the league, the decision “came out of the NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections.”