3 worst Kevin Durant trade destinations for Bulls, including Celtics2 min read
3 worst KD trade destinations for Bulls, including Celtics originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Kevin Durant has been the talk of the NBA world since requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on June 30.
That discourse only intensified with Monday morning’s slew of reports connecting the Nets and Boston Celtics in trade talks.
The Chicago Bulls have always been a longshot to land Durant. But if he is traded, they can still stand to benefit — or be hurt — by a shift in the league’s balance of power.
Here are three of the Bulls’ worst-case destinations for Durant:
The Celtics are already the reigning Eastern Conference champions with a burgeoning young core to build upon moving forward. Even if a move for Durant cost them Jaylen Brown, pairing Durant with Jayson Tatum would be a downright lethal combination, especially given the surrounding defensive infrastructure.
The Celtics already projected to be a tier above the Bulls in the Eastern Conference hierarchy — and one of the favorites to contend for an NBA title next season. With Durant aboard, they would have the potential to ascend even higher.
And, unfortunately for the rest of the conference, it looks like they’re in the mix.
According to multiple reports, the Heat and Suns are atop Durant’s preferred trade destinations. Him landing in Miami would, obviously, be a disastrous result for the Bulls.
The Heat, which finished last regular season as the East’s No. 1 seed, were already a seemingly unsolvable obstacle for the Bulls. They went 0-4 against Miami in their 2021-22 regular-season series, losing the games by an average of 12.5 points.
Adding Durant to that mix certainly wouldn’t improve the Bulls’ chances of matching up well, especially if the Heat were able to pull a deal off without parting with Bam Adebayo or Jimmy Butler.
The Raptors haven’t (yet?) been linked to Durant in as firm a fashion as the Celtics or Heat. But they have a number of young players that could interest the Nets — from OG Anunoby to Pascal Siakam to Scottie Barnes to Fred VanVleet — and a lead executive in Masai Ujiri that has a history of seismic moves (see: his 2018 trade for Kawhi Leonard).
While this one might be more of a longshot than the Heat or Celtics, a trade to the Raptors would have more intimate impact on the Bulls. Toronto finished one spot above them in the East last season after weeks of jockeying for position. A trade for Durant would vault them into a different stratosphere.
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