What Now for the Nets? Bracing for … Nothing, Arturas Set to Speak, and Other Bulls Bullets

My plan was to stay awake.

I know by now that there is usually at least one relatively big trade that can break around midnight every deadline. What I didn’t know is that this year it would be freakin’ Kevin Durant. I stayed on my couch until about 11:30 before making my way to the bed with my computer by my side.

My incredibly snuggly dog curled up next to me and the weight of her tiny adorable body started to sink my eyelids. The last time on the clock I remember seeing was 11:58. Seven minutes later … one of the biggest trades in NBA history went down. I blame you, Winnie!

  • When I awoke about an hour later for a bathroom break, I thought I was dreaming. My phone had a million notifications and they all referenced Durant’s trip to Phoenix. Not only did I read each notification about 10 times, but I also Googled the news to ensure that I wasn’t just having some kind of vivid dream sequence. Half amazed and half incredibly angry that I fell asleep, I wrote up our post on the transaction.
  • I’m still trying to piece together my complete thoughts on this bonkers deal. On the one hand, it’s totally believable that Durant would push his way out of Brooklyn after the Kyrie Irving debacle officially ended. On the other hand, I never thought that would happen at THIS trade deadline. It all just felt too complicated to pull off. Speaking of which, I’m kind of surprised that the Nets didn’t get even more for his services. Don’t get me wrong four unprotected first-rounders and a pick swap feels about right, as does the inclusion of top-defender Mikal Bridges, but you’d think the Nets would have also sought out Deandre Ayton or someone with a little more “star” potential.
  • If the Nets want to enter full rebuild mode, though, they have plenty of pieces to still do that. Whether it be flipping Bridges, Jae Crowder, or some of their pre-existing role players like Royce O’Neal, Seth Curry, and Joe Harris, they can likely continue adding to their stash of first-round draft capital.
  • By the way, if I’m the Bulls, I’m at least giving Brooklyn a call right now. I’m very interested in what their prices are for almost any of those players listed above. I doubt anything really works out due to contract logistics, but even a guy like O’Neal could be a relatively significant upgrade to the second unit when we consider his 3-point shooting ability.
  • Oh, and guess who the Bulls play live on TNT tonight!? That’s right, the new-look Brooklyn Nets! Assuming nothing happens over the next handful of hours for Chicago, this will be another one of those games where they should have zero excuses. They are the far more “experienced” team with far less ongoing drama to sort through. If the plan is still to make the playoffs – which I expect Arturas Karnisovas will say at his press conference later today – you got to win this game.
  • Yes,per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times – and per usual – Arturas Karnisovas is set to speak to the media after today’s deadline. How much do you want to bet Karnisovas says at least three of the following?
  • All these superstar trades have me wondering what it must be like to have a franchise that truly cares about doing whatever it takes to build a contender. While some of this may be reactionary, I just struggle mightily to see a legitimately competitive path forward for this franchise without an ownership change. Ever since the Jordan years, this team has pretty much refused to join the big spenders and go above and beyond to add talent. Nearly every contending team in the NBA is embracing the luxury tax and going all out to put themselves in a prime position. To be clear, I’m not saying the Bulls should spend money just to spend money. I understand you need to do it on the right players. But the fact I don’t even trust that they would ever do that is a huge problem.
  • Building a contender is like looking for two matching socks in the dryer, you have to keep shaking things up and flipping things over until you find the right pieces. The fact the Bulls embraced this win-now mentality but have proceeded to sit on their hands at every transaction period is dumbfounding to me. While I initially understood giving this core some time to grow together, it’s become abundantly clear that time isn’t going to fix the glaring weaknesses on this roster. You have to start moving things around to get to where you want to be. You can’t just stare at the pile of clothes and hope to find the socks.
  • Drummond can’t believe it either …
  • https://twitter.com/AndreDrummond/status/1623688966724624384?s=20

  • Reminder: Larry Nance Jr. gave his house to Josh Hart after the two switched teams this offseason. Now … no one has his house lol
  • This is pretty cool. I also wish Josh Hart somehow found his way to the Bulls.
  • If you need some pre-deadline content, I hopped on The Rebuild-A-Bull Podcast to talk about what the team should and could do this afternoon!
  • Uh, they traded a second for him, so I hope not!
  • It’ll be an emotional goodbye.
  • written by

    Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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