The Kevin Durant sweepstakes have begun, and the Chicago Bulls have reportedly already done their due diligence.
According to the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley, the Bulls were one of many teams who dialed the Nets front office this afternoon after news broke of Durant’s trade request:
According to a source, the Bulls were included in that line of phone calls, despite Durant reportedly putting Miami and Phoenix atop his desired destinations.
And while the reality of the situation was that the Bulls don’t have the profile of player or the quality of desired draft picks the Nets were looking for in a return package, it was more about the organization doing its due diligence.
All things considered, I don’t think any of us should be shocked that Arturas Karnisovas picked up the phone. The truth is that the strong majority of teams around the league probably reached out to the Nets to see what initially trade conversations would look like. For the Bulls, as Cowley notes, it appears there just wasn’t much there to build on.
Does that mean the Bulls are completely out of the running? I don’t think we can say that just yet. They still have a couple of interesting young assets and All-Star-caliber talent in DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. However, Kevin Durant is likely to draw a historic haul, and the Bulls’ current asset pool may not be the sexiest of the suitors. Could someone like Zach LaVine potentially draw the Nets’ interest? Sure. But then who is Durant’s co-star for the future?
On a different note, we do have to wonder whether or not this Durant shenanigans messed with the Bulls’ initial free agency plans. The organization made zero headlines until they signed Andre Drummond tonight as their backup center, and I guess that could have been because their attention was focused on following the fallout that Durant’s availability could cause around the league.
If so, with that avenue now reportedly explored, perhaps we’ll start to see the Bulls news pick up. While Chicago filled a hole in the frontcourt, they still desperately need to add wing depth and shooting.