clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Should the Bulls make a run at Kevin Durant before NBA Trade Deadline?

We take a look at whether or not Chicago has what it takes to lure Durant before the deadline.

Chicago Bulls Guard Zach LaVine guards Brooklyn Nets Forward Kevin Durant during a NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Chicago Bulls on January 4, 2023 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets shook the NBA world on Sunday by sending PG Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal featuring Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and a package of picks. Irving joins Luka Doncic in Dallas to make a run at a title. That departure has left Durant (almost) alone in Brooklyn after he signed with the team in hopes of building a dynasty. With those hopes all but out the window, does that open up KD to be moved before the deadline on Thursday? It appears so. With that in mind, does it mean the Chicago Bulls should get involved? We take a look.

Kevin Durant trade rumors: Should Bulls go after Nets SF?

To be honest, everyone should go after Durant. He’s one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. Chicago, in particular, is in a sort of “No Man’s Land” where the team isn’t bad enough to make a run at the No. 1 pick in the lottery for Victor Wembanyama. The Bulls also would need to land in the top-3 to avoid sending their first-rounder to Orlando as part of the Nikola Vucevic deal. With the likelihood that pick goes to the Magic and the chances the Bulls land somewhere in the top-10 in the Eastern Conference, does it make sense to go all-in for Durant?

The Bulls definitely have the salary to match in a deal for Durant, who is owed $44 million this season. SG Zach LaVine hasn’t been happy with the franchise despite signing a max deal. The Bulls also have DeMar DeRozan and Vucevic, who is on an expiring deal. The young assets include Patrick Williams, Coby White, Dalen Terry and Ayo Dosunmu. The Bulls have a few first-round picks to move as well.

The most likely deal would be LaVine, Williams and draft capital for Durant. The Nets would likely want Dosunmu but White or Terry could also sweeten the deal. The Bulls would then proceed with the core of Durant, DeRozan and Vucevic in an attempt to make some noise this season in the East. If Lonzo Ball is ever able to return and contribute, those four players would be quite formidable. The Bulls wouldn’t need to worry so much about future draft capital, since Durant is under contract through 2025-26. If you’re able to win a title in that window, it was worth it.

Those are a lot of “ifs” and there’s a good chance the Nets don’t find a deal for Durant. LaVine, Vucevic, Pat Will and picks could get it done but a skeleton squad of KD, DeRozan and Alex Caruso doesn’t move the needle all that much for Chicago. You’d have Durant and cap space after this season, which could work out. You also risk Durant forcing another trade or not being able to lure high-profile free agents after the whole Nets fiasco.