Rumor Roundup: Bulls Stay Put? Durant, Suns Are Hungry, More

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Rumor Roundup: Bulls Standing Pat? Kevin Durant, Suns Sound Hungry, Point Guards, More

Chicago Bulls





Bulls Standings Pat

If the sheer lack of rumors wasn’t enough to signal that the Bulls are likely headed toward a boring trade deadline, then K.C. Johnson’s words sure are. The NBC Sports Chicago insider recently spoke about the Bulls’ intentions on 670 The Score’s Mully & Haugh, and to say he threw cold water on a big trade would be an understatement:

“The impression from the other teams are that the Bulls are pretty much going to keep what they got. That’s what they’ve been telling teams … The impression from most teams are that the Bulls are going to standpat or at least, I shouldn’t say standpat, but not move off any of their big pieces.” 

And, just for good measure, he reiterated these words in his most recent column, which you can read here.

But as of Tuesday, rival teams continue to operate under the premise that Karnišovas wants to see what his core can accomplish down the stretch run. This stance would be consistent with Karnišovas’ preseason expectations to improve on last season’s 46-victory campaign and first-round playoff exit.

I’ve made my thoughts on standing pat more than clear at this point. While I can at least palate not a complete teardown, there is no denying that this roster needs significant help. Whether it be the lack of shooting, rim protection, or true facilitating, the core trio is too expensive and too flawed to continue pushing this organization in the right direction.

The fact that they seemingly can’t see that and could refuse to act on it at this deadline is a massive bummer. And, look, I understand that a perfect deal might not come across the table. I’m not saying the Bulls should trade players just to trade them. But it is hard for me to believe that there is no deal out there worth pursuing. This is the time of year when teams are at their most desperate, and the Bulls are in a great position to take advantage of that.

So frustrating.

Kevin Durant

With Kyrie Irving now Dallas’ problem, the Brooklyn Nets must turn their attention fully to Kevin Durant. The organization has reportedly been working to find more trades to upgrade the talent around Durant for a continued championship pursuit this season. Durant has also reportedly had conversations about the future of the franchise with the front office.

The Toronto Raptors have been name-dropped the most as a potential trade partner with the Nets this week. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets initially delayed making the Irving deal official as they had conversations with the Raptors’ brass. Obviously, extending that trade to include them didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean a deal between the two still can’t come together over the next 24 hours.

For that to happen, though, SNY’s Ian Begley is reporting that the Raptors are pushing to receive big man Nic Claxton back in any deal. The Nets have been weary about going that far, as Claxton has been easily their best defensive player this season.

Let’s be honest, the big question with Brooklyn isn’t who they might pursue but whether or not they can keep Durant happy. We already know the superstar had a failed-trade demand earlier this offseason, and what will stop him from trying that again? ESPN’s Brian Windhorst spoke about this on the most recent episode of the Hoops Collective Podcast, and it sure sounds like the Nets’ position on trading Durant could change (h/t HoopsHype):

Now that Kyrie Irving has been traded, maybe the Nets’ position on not trading Kevin Durant as it really was kind of last summer may change. That is an interesting development that has happened over the last 48 hours since the Kyrie trade from people that I’ve talked to.

My best guess is that Brooklyn does end up getting a deal done for one of the Raptors’ big names, but whether or not this actually convinces Durant or the Nets to continue that marriage is a complete unknown. That will be a story to follow even past this deadline.

Phoenix Big Splash?

Speaking of Durant, don’t think for a second the Phoenix Suns aren’t crossing those fingers that he’ll ask out.

Not only is new owner Matt Ishbia reportedly looking to make his presence felt ASAP, but Durant reportedly did express interest in a move to the Nets this offseason. Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report has already reported that the Suns are ready to pursue the superstar at a moment’s notice, but Woj noted that the Nets have no current plans to negotiate.

If Durant doesn’t pan out, though, we can’t rule out another big splash. The Suns have been connected to several of the biggest trade targets, including the Raptors’ Fred VanVleet and the Timberwolves’ D’Angelo Russell, per HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.

Chris Paul’s hefty contract has been thrown around as a possible trade chip, while speculation about the status of Deandre Ayton and Cam Johnson remains. The Suns recently got star Devin Booker back on the floor and sit 5th in the Western Conference. Considering all their recent playoff success, there is reason to believe that one big move could put them back in the mix for the Western Conference Finals. We’ll see if they can get one done.

Everyone Wants OG Anunoby and a Point Guard

The OG Anunoby sweepstakes continue to heat up. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, eight teams have been linked to Anunoby in recent weeks, including the Memphis Grizzlies.

Long-time NBA insider Marc Stein suggested that Memphis would include two future first-round picks for the emerging star. And they aren’t the only ones.

If you aren’t focusing on Anunoby, your probably focusing on a point guard. Fred VanVleet remains the biggest guard option readily available, and the Clippers, Nets, Magic, and Lakers have all been suitors, per Fischer. Additionally, Fischer said D’Angelo Russell, Kyle Lowry, and Terry Rozier have been discussed around the league.

The Action Network’s Matt Moore emphasized that VanVleet might be the most available Raptors player on the market, and the Magic could make a real run at him.

And Ones …

  • The Jazz could be in store for *a lot* of moves over the next 24 hours.

  • Marc Stein mentioned the Washington Wizards as a team that has their eye on Spurs’ big man Jakob Poeltl. But he also noted that the Raptors have explored acquiring him in a deal that could include free-agent-to-be Gary Trent Jr. and draft compensation.
  • Michael Scotto has tied Portland’ Josh Hart back to the New York Knicks. The 3-and-D forward has reportedly emerged as the most likely candidate to be traded for the Trail Blazers.
  • Lakers leaking drama before the deadline …

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.