Kevin Durant is staying with the Nets: How does that impact the Dallas Mavericks?

Dallas Mavericks, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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How Kevin Durant staying impacts Dallas Mavericks: 2. Tough early slate

Durant staying in Brooklyn has a direct impact on the Mavs' early season schedule. They play the Nets twice in their first nine games, including an NBA TV matchup on Oct. 27 in just the fourth game of the season.

Both of those meetings will be marquee showdowns, especially if the Nets are fully healthy. Ben Simmons and Joe Harris should be back in the lineup after injuries derailed last season. Kyrie Irving should also join Kevin Durant in giving the Mavericks fits. Expect Dorian Finney-Smith to matchup on KD with Reggie Bullock taking the Kyrie assignment. Can Dallas hold the high-powered Nets in check?

How committed is Durant to the Nets? He just requested a trade and walked it back, but will he want out again before the trade deadline? Remember, he wanted to go to Phoenix. The Suns will be able to offer both Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges at the deadline. Will that be enough to get KD to the Valley of the Sun?

The Mavericks only have to contend with Kevin Durant twice during the regular season if he stays in Brooklyn, but both meetings come in the first nine games. Can Dallas hand them two early losses to potentially stir up more drama? It is a storyline to watch.