Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kevin Durant to make season debut on Tuesday

One game after Russell Westbrook returned from his multi-week hand injury, the Oklahoma City Thunder will get back Kevin Durant for tonight's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The initial timetable for Durant was six to eight weeks and he's returning in the early part of that range so naturally he'll be on a minutes restriction in his debut -- and probably for his first few games.

Per Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman, Durant's minutes will be limited to "around 30 minutes" for tonight's game.

Winning the league's scoring title in four of the past five seasons, Durant averaged a career-high 32.0 points per game last season with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. He was only the fourth player in league history to average 32/7/5 and the other three were Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Elgin Baylor.

Durant should obviously be started in all seasonal leagues, but I'd probably fade him in daily fantasy leagues given the minutes restriction and expected rust and conditioning levels in his first game back.

Only LeBron James ($11,600) and Anthony Davis ($11,500) are priced higher than Durant ($11,400) on DraftKings. Davis ($11,600), James ($10,800) and DeMarcus Cousins ($10,400) are the only players priced higher on FanDuel than the Durant ($10,000).

With Westbrook and Durant back, the Thunder are currently 4.5 games behind the Phoenix Suns for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

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