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#pounditSunday, September 25, 2022

NBA Christmas Day schedule notably omits 1 team

Adam Silver speaking

Jun 2, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver talks to media before game one of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The full leak of the NBA’s draft Christmas Day schedule may offer a hint about how the league’s schedule-makers feel about one particular ongoing saga.

Multiple reports revealed the five games slated for the Christmas showcase this season. The list includes the marquee teams one would expect, such as the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, as well as major contenders like the Suns, Celtics, 76ers, and Bucks.

Many were quick to note the absence of one particular team, however. There was no sign of the Brooklyn Nets on the leaked schedule, which was not coincidental in the eyes of many.

No, the NBA probably doesn’t know anything more than the public does. What the public knows, however, should be more than enough to scare off the schedule-makers. There is a great deal of uncertainty about the team after Kevin Durant’s trade request, and more recent speculation has suggested that Durant might be willing to go to extensive lengths to get out of Brooklyn.

In other words, there is a very real risk that he won’t be with the team one way or another by December. The NBA would not want to showcase a shorthanded or rebuilding Nets team on national television for the league’s biggest, most visible day of regular season action.

Under normal circumstances, the Nets would certainly be one of the first teams the league would find a spot for on Christmas. The team had made the Christmas slate in each of the last two seasons, after all. Things are different now, and that reflects the genuine uncertainty looming over the franchise.

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